Athens Repair Cafe
Toss it? No way!
The Repair Café is a free place to meet and fix things, together. Attendees can bring their broken items, and experts are there to help them repair it. Both attendees and specialists are members of the Athens community, and we are working together to foster a culture of reuse and repair before landfill.
Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division partners with community organizations to put on Repair Cafes. Attendees can bring a range of broken items to try and have repaired: bicycles, electrical appliances, toys, clothing, furniture, computers, and more.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about Repair Cafe
We throw away vast amounts of stuff. Even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves or they no longer know how. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost. Society doesn’t always show much appreciation for the people who still have this practical knowledge, and against their will they are often left standing on the sidelines. Their skills are never used, or hardly ever. The Repair Café changes all that! People who might otherwise be sidelined are getting involved again. Valuable practical knowledge is getting passed on. Things are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away. This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products. It cuts CO2 emissions, for example, because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released. The Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light, and to, once again, appreciate their value. The Repair Café helps change people’s mindset. This is essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society. But most of all, the Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is. Why don’t you give it a go?
The repairs at the Repair Café are free. Isn’t that unfair competition for professional repairers like seamstresses and bicycle repair shops?
The people visiting the Repair Cafés at the moment often are not customers of professional repairers. Instead, many are tossing out their broken bedside lamp, blender, chair or coat because getting it repaired is more expensive than buying a new one. By helping people in the Repair Café fix their item, we avoid them having to buy a new one. Furthermore, visitors of the Repair Café learn that their items can be fixed a lot more easily than they might have thought. That way, the chance that they will bring their broken items to a professional repairer in the future will increase rather than decrease. And finally, people used to repair all kinds of stuff at home while there were also professional repairers at work. The thought that repairing items yourself is competition for professional repairers, is not based on experiences of the past. The reason that professional repairers are struggling and disappearing is subject to reasons found elsewhere in our economic system. For example, taxes on raw materials are often very low whereas tax on labor is high. Something to consider!