Battery recyling startup wins Amazon's backing

I have mixed feelings about this one:

Tesla cofounder JB Straubel has been funded by Amazon for Redwood Materials, a start-up aiming to extract lithium, cobalt and nickel from old smartphones and other electronics for reuse in new electric batteries.

:arrow_right: Full story here (via Ars Technica)

While recovering these kinds of materials from discarded electronic devices is certainly a step in the right direction, for me, one of the commentors sums this up nicely:

And when people ask “Why does right to repair matter?” - this sort of thing is why.

Yes, it’s good to recycle the waste when possible, but the jump to recycling as the first option misses, entirely, the older phrasing - “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” Recycling was the last step, not the first.

An older phone, able to be repaired, isn’t in a landfill in the first place, though the battery is usually the weak point.

Given Amazon’s own record when it comes to producing unrepairable, faulty/dangerous devices, investing in a recycling startup strikes me as an attempt to pay lip service to its climate pledges while essentially doing nothing to address more fundamental issues with its business model.

But perhaps I’m being too cynical here?

(In any case, it’s nice to see Ars readers on board with the Right to Repair!)

Eric Lundgren, famously imprisoned — with a nod from Microsoft — for distributing Windows recovery discs, is now in the lithium recycling business. He might be a more credible “recycler” although he appears to be focusing on reuse of batteries.