Broken toaster? Take it to the Repair Café

Port Coquitlam is launching its inaugural Repair Café next month, a free service for PoCo residents run by volunteers.

They’ve sprung up from coast to coast in recent years, in rural villages and metropolitan centres.

And, next month, Port Coquitlam will launch its Repair Café, too, in a bid to keep waste down in the city.

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But first, the municipality needs a few volunteer hands to make it work.

Mahdis Araujo, program manager for PoCo’s engineering and public works department and the brains behind the city’s Repair Café, is calling on residents handy with gadgets, sewing needles and tools to lend a few spare hours every month.

“The more, the merrier,” Araujo said outside the public works building, where the Repair Cafés are expected to run Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., once a month.

Stations will be set up for PoCo residents to bring in their broken wares: small appliances, jewellery, computers and bicycles, for example. “Anything that can be carried in easily.”

The repairs — and lessons — will be no charge but there will be a donation jar to pay for Café expenses.

Working tool donations (i.e., hammers, saws and drills) for the fixers are also appreciated, said Araujo who is modelling the Café after Maple Ridge’s program that began last year.

According to Zero Waste Canada, the Repair Café movement started in Amsterdam in 2009; a year later, the founder created the non-profit Repair Café Foundation to provide guidelines and a network for the thousands of centres around the world wanting to take aim at the prevalent “take, make and dispose” model.

Araujo said Repair Café volunteers tend to be retired and environmentally conscious; they want to improve the longevity of a product or machine rather than see it tossed.

“This is one way of encouraging people to reuse and make the most of the things they already love.”

• Port Coquitlam’s inaugural Repair Café is on June 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Public Works building (1737 Broadway St.). To help out, email repaircafe@portcoquitlam.ca.
 

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