SWRC Update: What happens at a Repair Cafe?

SWRC Update: What happens at a Repair Cafe?
Have you heard? The SWRC is bringing Repair Cafés to the province during Waste Reduction Week in October. These events, which started in the Netherlands, are gaining popularity around the globe. If you haven’t been to one yet, here is how they work, and why so many people love them.

A Repair Café is a free event where you can bring a household item to be fixed with the help of volunteers. It brings together those people who are wizards at fixing just about anything, and those of us who haven’t got any idea where to start if something breaks.

Say you have a lamp that you love, but it doesn’t work anymore. There are no recycling programs for lamps, and very few businesses where you could even pay to have them fixed. Even though the repair may be as simple as soldering a loose connection, or installing a new plug end, if you aren’t familiar with how electrical items work, there’s no way you would attempt to fix it yourself.

Take it to a Repair Café, and you will have the opportunity to see if it can be fixed with some basic tools and knowledgeable volunteers.

A volunteer greets you when you come in and acquaints you with the house rules. You will need to sign a form saying you agree to the repair and acknowledge it is performed by volunteers so there is no warranty or liability with the work done.

Since you brought in an electrical item, you will be directed to the electrical appliance station. You will also see a number of other stations for repairing items such as wood working, sewing, gluing and maybe even bicycle repair.

If volunteers at your station are currently helping others, you will need to wait for a bit. That’s where the café part comes in. You can have a coffee or tea, visit with others attending the event and watch other items being repaired.

Once it is your turn, you get to learn from an awesome volunteer. They will help you diagnose and repair your lamp.

Once your lamp is repaired, you can get in line to fix another item, stay to visit, or just head home satisfied with the fix (or with the knowledge that the item can’t be fixed, but at least now you know).

We are aiming to have a Repair Cafe in each Saskatchewan city on Saturday, October 26th. Thanks to Affinity Credit Union for sponsoring this effort. Contact us if you are handy at fixing things, or handy with a coffee pot, and would like to volunteer. Otherwise, please help us spread the word and start saving those items that need repair.