BY SARA BAWAR & SYDNEY SAVAGE
This year, dozens of broken items were fixed at Sheridan’s Repair Café. The workshop was a busy event with talented fixers who were determined to reduce waste and fix items for free. People brought in items such as computers, electronics, clothes, jewelry, books, headphones and fixers were able to repair their broken pieces.
One of the main benefits of Repair Café is promoting sustainability. This is what Oleg Oxe, a fixer volunteer, wants people to know. “The idea behind today’s event is to keep items out of the landfill. If we can prolong their life and prevent consumers from buying new appliances or electronics that is our goal,” Oxe says.
Some of the items that were fixed during this event included a paper shredder, blender, lamp, and blanket. “The most interesting thing I’ve seen in the past was a kiln. It was actually very easy and cheap to fix. The owner was very happy,” Oxe adds.
Volunteers become fixers by bringing their skills and drive to the Repair Café. Alex Luyckx, a Repair Café volunteer has been fixing things for years. “I’ve always been taught by both my father and my grandfather to repair first, throw away second. Older things were designed to last a long time and if it breaks it’s easy to fix. I’ve just always enjoyed fixing things and making sure they work before replacing it,” Luyckx says.
“We are in a world of finite resources and with trash building up we need to try to not contribute to that,” Luyckx adds.
Sheridan IT staff members were also at the event working on fixing electronics. “I brought in my broken hard-drive and they weren’t able to fix it but I would say 60 to 70 per cent of items are repaired,” says Pinkeish Chandnani, a Repair Café volunteer.
“Most of the fixers are volunteers and we’ve also got some of the IT guys helping us out,” Chandnani adds.
The first Repair Café started in Amsterdam in 2009. Since then, the event has become a huge success with over 1,400 Repair Café worldwide. The Repair Café is hosted at Sheridan College twice a year. Those who are interested in finding a Repair Café event near them can check out their website for more information.