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Illini Gadget Garage helps reduce waste

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Illini Gadget Garage helps reduce waste

By Manasi Deshmukh

Now more than ever, the future of this world depends enormously on how we manage waste. Neglecting the issues of waste management have resulted in serious health and environmental consequences.

Since the past decade, the problem of managing rapidly growing e-waste has become grave concern worldwide. In today’s digital age, technology has been upgraded at a lightning speed, and average lifespans of electronics are continuously dropping. This gives rise to insane amounts of e-waste being generated globally. (It has been estimated that global e-waste has skyrocketed to 49.8 million tons in 2018).

Thus, organizations striving toward a cleaner and greener future encourage the “3 Rs” of sustainability — recycle, reuse and reduce. U of I has introduced a fourth, often overlooked R of sustainability — repair and has been working on it since Fall 2015.

Illini Gadget Garage (IGG) is a U of I initiative that helps students repair their electronics at repair clinics free of charge. IGG has repaired approximately 740.88 pounds of devices to date. At IGG, the staff, in cooperation with students, research the problems with a device and come up with a way to repair it. All the tools needed for repair are available at the garage. It hosts a pop-up repair clinic every month, and further, students can set up appointments at their convenience.

Unfortunately, this initiative is experiencing a shortage of personnel. We encourage you to reach out to us if you can help at the repair clinic. Your help can save IGG.

Manasi Deshmukh is a senior in Social Work.

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