Upcoming repair cafés to help people repair broken household items

HUMBOLDT — The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council is opening a free repair café for a day during Waste Reduction Week in Humboldt and Melfort.

“We’re trying to bring this repair café movement across the province,” said Naomi Mihilewicz, communications co-ordinator for the council. “We’ve held a few repair cafés in Saskatoon, they’re held pretty regularly by a group in Prince Albert and there have been some in Regina.”

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For this event, people can bring in basic electronics and other household objects to the café to be repaired at no cost.

Mihilewicz said the individuals will stay with the item while it’s repaired.

“The idea is you’re learning about the process and how to fix that item at the same time while you’re having that done with a volunteer, so the next time something similar happens you go, ‘Oh, this is what I need from the hardware store and this is how we try to fix it.’”

Some examples of items that can be repaired at the café include toasters, coffee makers, lamps, hairdryers, curling irons, blenders and electronic screwdrivers.

“We try to have someone there who is good with small electronics,” she said. “They have a soldering iron there so they can open something up if it’s a small appliance and see if they can fix a loose connection, if that’s all it is. We often have people bring in something where the end by the plugin has frayed.”

Large electronics that have circuitry such as a television or a microwave, the café won’t have the supplies to repair.

They will also be repairing bicycles, clothes, shoes, toys and furniture.

“People often bring in clothing items that need a small amount of mending and don’t own a sewing machine, and that’s what’s required to fix this.”

Mihilewicz said the goal in holding this event during Waste Reduction Week is to keep those items out of the landfill.

“[It] just helps change people’s opinions about whether or not something can be fixed,” she said. “Just to make our culture a little less disposable.”

Both cafes take place on Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Humboldt café will be located at the Uniplex Event Centre, meeting room three, while the Melfort café will be located at the Melfort and District Museum. These particular cafés are sponsored by Affinity Credit Union.

Anybody wanting volunteer can reach the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council at naomi@saskwastereduction.ca.

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