Surf Coast volunteers fighting waste

April 29, 2021 BY

Surf Coast local Frank Paton received assistance from volunteer Paul Hermecz at the Anglesea Repair Cafe. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Surf Coast Repair Café is set to return next month in a bid to prevent household items from ending up in landfill.

Local efforts to teach people to repair their items has led to more than 700 visitors, 1,019 repairs and 2500kg of items being diverted from landfill since 2017.

The Surf Coast branch located at the Anglesea Memorial Hall was started by two Fairhaven residents four years ago with a workshop held once a month, with no charge for items fixed.

Co-founder Jo Murray said small electrical and mechanical items are the most popular items brought in for repair but over the years volunteers have extended their skills to everything from clothing, toys, bikes, jewellery furniture and household and garden appliances.

“Everyone has a skill they could bring to the group, whether as a repairer or a general helper,” he said.

“Many people hold onto items for years, not wanting to throw them away, but not knowing where they can be fixed.”

The Repair Café includes a ‘Kids Tinkering Zone’ where children aged 3-15 years can learn to reassemble their broken items while gaining valuable life skills.

“Perhaps the next generation of repairers will come from this group,” Mr Murray said.

Councillor Mike Bodsworth said the shire’s recent Climate Change survey found 30 per cent (116) of participants were already involved in existing climate or environmental groups such as Repair Café, with a further 90 (23.5 per cent) showing an interest in joining.

“Surf Coast Shire is home to many people and groups that are passionate about the environment and protecting it,” he said.

“The Repair Café is one of these groups doing good work for the community and we encourage

people to join them so more items can be saved from landfill.”

“I’d encourage anyone interested in contributing to put their hand up to help.”

To find out more about how you can get involved contact [email protected]

The next workshop will take place on Sunday (May 2) from 10am to 2pm at Anglesea Memorial Hall.