Recycle Mode

  • 2 January 2020
  • 7 replies
  • 199 views

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I have many strong feeling towards 'Recycle Mode’ but sticking plainly to the facts. Erasing user data from a device is one thing but driving up profits at the cost of the environment for profits sake alone is another. Recycle mode should be removed in my opinion, the idea of a landfill of Sonos devices that should still be in service makes anyone uneasy. Then there is the thought of all the precious metals involved in manufacture, the time it will take for those dense high-quality plastics and fibre glass to decay, the time it will take for the PCB to decay, the chemical residue that will remain afterwards in the soil, not to mention if those rare materials in manufacture were conflict free in the first place. 

A quick google search of what the world does with e-waste shows a trend for shipping it to a developing country where they can be dumped and left to rot for the next millennia. That high quality poly-carbonate exterior should still be distinguishable by 3020. 

My physics teacher taught me always point out problems but with a solution. So how about wipe the data, and let the device function as normal. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


7 replies

I’d imagine that Sonos are trying to move us on to newer kit, which is more capable of handling the new software changes that they’ll be making to stay competitive. Leaving the old kit still running doesn’t help them at all, as it would still have to be supported.

It’s not obligatory to use the recycling programme - you can sell the old kit privately and put the sale money towards newer kit, if you wish, leaving the old kit still working…. How long it will be working is another issue, and I’d expect the older kit to have a lower resale value as a consequence.

Overall, though, I agree with you about the recycling aspect and feel that, at the prices that Sonos charge, much more work should be done software wise to keep them functional.

Userlevel 7
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I have many strong feeling towards 'Recycle Mode’ but sticking plainly to the facts. Erasing user data from a device is one thing but driving up profits at the cost of the environment for profits sake alone is another.

 

 

They units have always had the ability to do a factory reset, erasing your user data.  That is nothing new.

 

 

Recycle mode should be removed in my opinion, the idea of a landfill of Sonos devices that should still be in service makes anyone uneasy. Then there is the thought of all the precious metals involved in manufacture, the time it will take for those dense high-quality plastics and fibre glass to decay, the time it will take for the PCB to decay, the chemical residue that will remain afterwards in the soil, not to mention if those rare materials in manufacture were conflict free in the first place. 

 

 

The issues you’re talking about relate to simply throwing the units away, rather than recycling it.  I understand that Sonos isn’t forcing customers to recycle, but they are encouraging it by getting customers to agree that they will recycle and offering them the opportunity to send the device to them to recycle if they prefer.  As well, the program is optional. those that want to keep their old units can do so.  Those that want to sell their old units can do so.  Those that would rather just throw it away, can still do so.  I get the presumption that customers who would normally continue to use or sell the old unit will now recycle, but is that volume greater than those that would have just thrown it away if not for this program?  We can only speculate.

 

Personally, I’m keeping my eligible units because there isn’t a current Sonos speaker that I want, and some of my units are still in use.  What the time comes, I will use the deal though.  A side effect of this is that I will be recycling other electronics at the same time, they I never really considered recycling before.  Maybe I’m just ignorant, but other than phones, I wasn’t aware that electronics recycling was even possible.  Perhaps, we’re your at, recycling electronics is common knowledge.

 

A quick google search of what the world does with e-waste shows a trend for shipping it to a developing country where they can be dumped and left to rot for the next millennia. That high quality poly-carbonate exterior should still be distinguishable by 3020. 

My physics teacher taught me always point out problems but with a solution. So how about wipe the data, and let the device function as normal. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

What problem are you attempting to solve with your solution?  As I said earlier, factory resets have always been an option.  It’s useful in rare cases for troubleshooting, but mostly for resale of the products.  However, Sonos has stated that they are doing this because they wanted to make it easier, and entice, customers with older products to see what the new products can do.  And yes, make more money.  I don’t think your solution would do anything for that problem.

 

I do think that in general, companies are in somewhat of a bind in that competition and support costs are pushing them to produce new products at a rapid pace, which encourages people to replace working electronics with the latest and greatest.  The phone industry is perhaps the worst at this.  It may just be my opinion, but the tech advancements are not that big to warrant new products in many cases.  Perhaps will reach a point where customers no longer see much benefit to new products, or perhaps they’ll be upgrade certain parts without trashing the whole thing.  I think the current model of free support will have to change at that point though, which is going to create other problems.

Userlevel 7
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I had unused Sonos gear, selling it was more hassle than I cared for and the rebate offer was more than I’d be able to sell for, more than new in two cases. I recycled four devices and used three rebates, banking one for future use.

The program can go away at any time with no notice but banked rebates are going to be honored even once the program is closed. I’d consider locking in a future 30% discount for any un or under used Sonos gear before the chance goes away.

I love it!  Recycled my connect amp for a new one and the new one is fantastic!  My #1 complaint about the old one was it was underpowered.  The new unit has more power, but it could have even more, IMHO.  The sound quality is terrific, and 2 line-in ports are good along with the HDMI.  Now when I watch NFL on my TV outside, I can pump the audio through the amp to get the stadium feel of a live game.  

 

As far as the recycled part, I’m going to scavenge the components and mix with a raspberry pi  and recycle it into a new volumio-esk device.  Winner-winner, chicken-dinner.  2 devices for the price of 1!

 

 

I am greatly disappointed on Sonos for destroying perfectly working devices with their “recycle mode” idea, this really questions their Ethos.

I know, it’s voluntary but not quite because you are “forcing” users to click that “recycle” button to get that 30% off on a new unit, while not actively getting involved in recycling.

What you are actively doing is trying to sell more…but i think you will end up in the opposite direction with this flawed approach.

Those are older products, slower CPU’s , memory , features, etc, but ultimately they play sound and do it well, no point to destroy them on purpose when they are perfectly working, this is planned obsolesce to the extreme, not ethical at all, and is also a statement that Sonos products are not durable !

I hope Sonos is starting to make sense now that customers are actively turning away from their products and towards the many other alternatives.

radio_podcasts,

If you don’t want to recycle locally, SONOS will accept units that are shipped to them. From an environmental perspective, local recycling is kinder to the environment.

I would imagine that there are massive resources involved in designing and manufacturing a product, the sourcing of materials, etc,  i doubt that this is recuperated when you recycle a product?

You have not answered my main point , What about the ethics? why do you deliberately destroy perfectly working products? Ok, no updates, i get that, but let them just work as they are until they stop working, don’t break them on purpose.

Of course it’s a rhetorical question… purely financially driven.

Sonos products are of decent quality and reliable but to be honest, your company’s attitude disappoints, you clearly messed up, the vast numbers of articles in the media along with your own unhappy customers have spoken , will you fix it or ignore it, will you listen to your own customers?

 

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