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Don’t Toss It, Repair It

Story: Jodie Woodward  | Photo: Bruce Redman
Published On : Apr 23, 2021
Don’t Toss It, Repair It
There are over 1,500 repair cafés around the world, including a recent addition in Redcliffe. The Repair Café Redcliffe Peninsula was launched in late-2020 with support from Redcliffe Encircle Neighbourhood Centre, and is open to the public once a month.

Repair Café coordinator Les Barkla said it was a great avenue to reduce waste and extend the life of objects that have developed a fault.

“We see so many broken or unwanted items that are fixable, just simply going to landfill,” he said.

The café is run by skilled volunteers who repair items people can’t afford to get repaired by specialists, potentially saving them from heading to landfill. Les is quick to point out that they are very conscious of not taking away work from local businesses, though.

“It is disappointing that items are not made to last these days, and unfortunately, many of these items need to be returned to the manufacturer agents for repairs at considerable expense, or it goes to landfill,” he said. ”Australians are some of the biggest consumers in the world, so this consumer culture encourages the purchase of new items, rather than think about getting an item repaired.”

With only a couple of workshops under its belt so far, the café is already seeing some great success stories.

“Just last Saturday, at our second workshop, our amazing volunteer repairers fixed a 102-year-old antique sewing machine destined for landfill, a boy’s wooden truck, a vacuum cleaner, an oil heater plug, the handles on a sentimental clock, and a pop-up banner,” Les said. ”The joy from the customers and repairers was priceless.”

If you’ve got an item at home that’s destined for landfill, consider getting in touch with the Repair Café to see if they can help give it a new life.

“Come and take a look,” Les said. ”It’s a friendly and helpful environment. If we can’t fix the item, we’ll try and work out a solution so it doesn’t go to landfill. We are always looking for new repairers. So, if you want to help the community, contact us.”

For more information, visit the Repair Café Redcliffe Peninsula Facebook page.

Repair Café Redcliffe Peninsula
First Saturday of the month, 8.30am-11am
Redcliffe Encircle Neighbourhood Centre
1 Lamington Drive, Redcliffe
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