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Repair Café returns to help Swift Current residents fix things and reduce waste

Posted on 15 November 2022 by Ryan Dahlman

By Matthew Liebenberg

Repairing items and continuing to use them is a great way to reduce waste and to keep things out of landfills.

The organizers of the upcoming Swift Current Repair Café want to help people to fix stuff, instead of just throwing it away.

Volunteer repair experts with knowledge about a variety of things will fix items free of charge and show visitors how to do their own repairs.

The Repair Café takes place on Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Palliser Pavilion at Kinetic Park. Courtney Stewart is a co-organizer of the event.

“The main goal of it is to promote a more sustainable mindset,” she said. “We want to encourage people to get into the habit of fixing what they can to keep items out of the landfill. So we’ll have experts at the event to fix just about anything.”

These experts will be able to repair broken and damaged items in a variety of categories, including electronics, small electric appliances, furniture, cloths, jewellery, toys, bicycles, computers, small engines, household appliances, books, ceramics and pottery and house plants.

“We’ll have experts in all of those categories who will not only fix the item, but if the person attending is interested, they can watch and maybe learn a bit about how to do future repairs themselves,” she said.

Advice on house plants might help to get rid of a bug infestation or other problems that impacts the health of a plant. It might be a bit chilly to bring a plant to the event, but that does not mean help will not be available.

“Even if you bring a picture or describe the issues that you’re having, she can help problem solve and maybe figure out what’s going on with that plant,” Stewart mentioned.

The event will feature a Stuffie Hospital, where stuffed toys can be repaired and saved from an uncertain future.

A move to repairing items will not only help the environment and avoid a throwaway culture. It can also make a difference to a household budget.

“It is a little easier financially if we don’t have to be constantly replacing household items,” she noted. “We do tend to be a little quicker to throw things away and I also think things are not really made to last, like they were once upon a time, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that can be repaired. So if we’re able to save them, it’s a good thing to do.”

A very successful inaugural Repair Café took place in Swift Current in 2019 and a follow-up event was planned for 2020, but it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 98 items were repaired during the original event and the success rate of repairs was 92 per cent. Most of the repaired items were in the categories for small appliances (33) and electronics (25). Seventeen clothing repairs were made, seven items were fixed in the computer category, and the woodworking experts repaired six items.

Anyone skilled in repairing things and interested in getting involved, can contact the Swift Current Repair Café team.

The Nov. 26 event is free of charge, but donations will be welcomed and are encouraged. Any funds raised will be used to host future events and to purchase repair supplies.

There will be free coffee and tea at the Repair Café and a concession will sell some food items. For more information about the Swift Current Repair Café or to contact them, go to their website at or their Facebook page (@screpaircafe).

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