Do you have an item at home that needs fixing, but you haven’t got around to it, or don’t know where to go?
A tool for a local solution
This National Recycling Week, we are hoping to help by putting a focus on “Repair”. Council’s waste education team are working with our local repair businesses to create a Repair Directory – linking our community to the local skilled repairers in our region. Stage one of the Repair Directory will be launched in National Recycling week which kicks off on Monday 13th November.
Across the globe, nations are looking to move to a more circular economy, aiming to keep resources in circulation for as long as possible, minimising waste generation and maximizing resource efficiency. The NSW Environment Protection Agency’s Waste Hierarchy identifies product repairability and repair as high priority objectives, reducing waste disposal and sending less to landfill.
While most of us are not involved in the manufacture of products, we can control what we purchase and whether we opt to get something repaired or throw away to buy something new.
Benefits of Repair
Beyond the postive impact repair can have on waste reduction there are many other benefits repair can have.
It’s often said “it costs more to fix it than replace it”, and in some cases that may be true. However, for many items, reaching out to a skilled repair professional for advice and a quote could just be worth it. Not only could it save you on the cost of the new item, you may also save the time and research required to buy new or be able to keep a sentimental item handed down or gifted to you.
Our Repair Directory aims to link you to some of our local repair businesses to allow you to reach out and investigate repair as a first option. The repair businesses have indicated that they are more than happy to provide a quote and let you decide which direction to take. Take that first step and enquire!
Repairing an item rather than purchasing new, saves on the extraction of resources and the emissions used to make the new product. A study by the European Environmental Bureau in 2019 found that extending the lifespan of smartphones, notebooks, washing machines and vacuums by just one year would save the EU as much carbon emissions as taking 2 million cars off the roads annually.
While there is a push for manufacturers to improve the repairability of products through groups such as the Australian Repair Network, as consumers we can still investigate repair for any product we already own and make a more considered decision when purchasing something new.
Supporting local repair business is another way we can all contribute to the growth and sustainability of our local community. Using local skilled professionals to repair your broken goods grows business and can help to increase jobs in the region.
Learning a new skill or finding a creative a way to fix what’s broken can not only help you bring back to life a product that was destined to be thrown away, but it can also provide a great sense of satisfaction and achievement. There are lots of ways to learn these days; from online tutorials, workshops and classes or joining a local group such as a men’s shed or a craft club. And once you have acquired the skill you can use it over and over again!!
Some of the local businesses listed in the Repair Directory offer workshops and classes or free repair cafes to upskill and teach new skills.
The Japanese art of Kintsugi uses gold dust and lacquer to rejoin and repair broken ceramics, with the item then considered to be more beautiful and more valuable once repaired. Embracing this attitude to repaired items, we could extend it to patching our clothes with fun patterns or use visible mending to add some uniqueness and flair or add a novel handle to a pot – the imagination can go wild!
If you know a local business that provides a repair service, let them know about the Repair Directory – we’d love to add them to it!