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Local event encourages repairs, saves waste from landfill

Quinte Repair Cafe organizers and fixers celebrate the start of the event. Photo by Candice-Rose Gagnon [1]

Quinte Repair Cafe organizers and fixers celebrate the start of the event. Photo by Candice-Rose Gagnon

By Candice-Rose Gagnon [2]

BELLEVILLE – Two hundred pounds of potential waste was diverted from landfills last weekend. That, thanks to the Quinte Repair Cafe [3], according to organzier Conor Brennan from Quinte Waste Solutions.

“A lot of these ideas happen in Toronto and Calgary, but the idea is to do it everywhere, and its important for waste management to prevent things with minor damage from ending up in landfills,” says Brennan.

Residents brought in household items that were broken or damaged to be repaired by local volunteers, called “fixers”. Professionals from jewelry, clothing, electronics, small appliances took time out of their busy schedules to help with the repairs. The event was not-for-profit and free to the public.

If the fixers were unable to fix the items, owners had the choice to dispose of it correctly at the event, and it was either re-purposed or taken to Belleville’s Electronic Waste Recycling [4].

Loyalist College [5], Quinte Waste Solutions [6] and Bay of Quinte Tourism [7] planned the event held downtown at the Core Arts and Culture Centre [8] in Belleville.

Carol St Clair was the first person to have an item repaired at the cafe. She brought in her  son’s Samsung tablet. She learned from fixer Jim Sanders that it just needed a new battery. A simple fix, and now the tablet won’t be replaced by a new one or thrown out.

Fixer Jim Sanders, owner of Plug n’ Playland, says he donated his time to educate the public on this issue.

“Unfortunately what a lot of people do is ‘its not working so, lets get a new one’. That’s not necessarily the case with electronics anymore. For example, if you have a damaged screen on a computer or cell phone it can be easily repaired at a considerable discount opposed to buying it new,” says Sanders.

Although there are no formal plans at this point for future Repair Cafes’, organizers say they they envision more of these events happening in various areas of the Quinte Region with different themes.

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