Some 25 residents brought 30 items for repair during the latest edition of the North Saanich Repair Café held Aug. 14. (Susan McDonald/Submitted)

Some 25 residents brought 30 items for repair during the latest edition of the North Saanich Repair Café held Aug. 14. (Susan McDonald/Submitted)

North Saanich Repair Café sets out to reduce waste

Additional cafés scheduled for the fall

Some 25 residents brought 30 items for repair during the latest edition of the North Saanich Repair Café with the next scheduled for Aug. 28.

Originating in Europe, repair cafés are free meeting places, where repair specialists such as electricians, sewers, carpenters and bicycle mechanics volunteer time and expertise to help repair items free of charge.

They also offer tools and materials to teach and help individuals make any repairs they may want to make on items ranging from clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, dishes and toys. This teaching aspect also aims to help people see their possessions in a new light as part of a broader goal to change mindsets, shifting toward what organizers call a more sustainable society.

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“There is a horrific amount of stuff going into the landfill,” said Marlyn Davis, instigator and organizer of the North Saanich Repair Café. “Not just here but worldwide.”

Efforts to save the planet will require the reduction of waste and the repairs cafés follow that philosophy, she said.

“Hopefully, setting up community meeting places where people can bring broken items and learn to repair [items] themselves, will result in less waste,” she said.

The trio of cafés have certainly made a contribution, with Davis reporting repair success rate ranging between 85 and 100 per cent. Additional events are scheduled for the fall.

“Starting in September, we are moving to one day per month,” said Davis. The first one in September is Friday, Sept. 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. at St John’s United Church located at 10990 West Saanich Rd.

With three repairs cafés already operating across the Capital Regional District, the movement aims to keep growing, said Davis. “One is in the planning stage for Saanich and it is rumored that the [Capital Regional District] is planning to coordinate repair cafes in the region offering training sessions for repairers and possibly having a café at Hartland [Landfill],” she said.

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Saanich Peninsula