RecycleFest + Repair Matters: How repairing builds confidence in all of us

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RecycleFest is back this year on July 13th at Vancouver’s Trout Lake Park. It’s set to be a day dedicated to celebrating sustainable living, reducing and repairing, with (as the name suggests) plenty of opportunities to recycle! You can bring your old, broken or unwanted small appliances and power tools for recycling, enjoy live entertainment and check out local eco-friendly vendors all in one place.

We are very excited to highlight the repair opportunities that will be present at our signature event, RecycleFest! ElectroRecycle has been partnering with organizations like NADA, Port-Coquitlam Repair Cafe, Kelowna Repair Cafe, and Repair Matters for the past few years. Recently we had the opportunity to chat with Kady and Angela, currently managing the Repair Matters organization. ElectroRecycle’s Event Lead, Lauren, took a moment to ask Kady and Angela some questions about their organization. Please read on below to learn more about the amazing work they do!

So, who is Repair Matters, and what is it all about?
Repair Matters is a Vancouver-based initiative that empowers community members to take part in repair and creative problem-solving. Our aim is to bring people with different skill sets and experiences together, ranging from novices to experts, to share knowledge and collectively troubleshoot repair solutions. Repair inspires creativity. The act of repairing something is a great way to build creative confidence in all of us!

“Repair does more than keep waste out of the landfill. It creates connections between different people within a city and allows knowledge to be passed on to the next generation.”

When we share our skills and experiences with each other we help to build resilient communities. We believe that repair is an engaging and sustainable way to accomplish this.

When and how did the organization start?
Repair Matters was founded in June 2015 by four young women, Shea O’Neil, Jessica Beketa, Karen Byskov and Jayde Chang, who were passionate about repair. All of the founders have since moved away from BC, however the organization is now run by Angela Paley and Kady Wong with help from Shea O’Neil. We also have a number of fixers who volunteer. There are currently about 15 fixers who volunteer on a consistent basis. The Repair Matters team proudly refers to their volunteers as their “repair heroes”.

Why should people come to a Repair Matters event?
Repair saves you money! For many of us, it often seems easier to buy a new model of a product when the old one breaks, instead of trying to get the old one repaired. In most cases where an item is broken, it’s worth considering the option of repair and either asking someone for advice, or looking it up online or in a book. Oftentimes repair is both easier and cheaper to perform than what initially might seem to be the case. The public can find more information on Repair Matters online through Facebook and Instagram. The organization usually organizes two events per month.

What draws your organization to RecycleFest?
Because we are all about repair, RecycleFest seemed like the perfect fit. We can’t wait to join in on the fun! We will have six or so volunteers for RecycleFest and will be repairing onsite, in one of the Trout Lake Community Center‘s rooms.

We will be fixing electronics, housewares, textiles, mechanical objects, and more, so bring any broken item that you can carry with you and come say hi! We will do our best to look at all items that attendees bring but cannot guarantee your item will be reviewed by a volunteer or fixed. Help from our volunteers is free but donations are welcomed ?

Free Geek Vancouver will also be helping out during the event. This not-for-profit community organization reuses and recycles donated electronics, offers education and job skills training, and provides free or low-cost computers to the public. Connect with them at the event!

About RecycleFest
Bring your old, broken or unwanted small appliances and power tools to Trout Lake for a day of family fun this summer. The 5th annual RecycleFest, hosted by not-for-profit ElectroRecycle, is happening on Saturday 13 July from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The free event has a wholesome line up featuring live music, yoga, sustainable lifestyle vendors, as well as burgers supplied by the street team at The Peak 102.7. For the kids, or young at heart, there will be face painting, a hula hoop zone and bouncy castle!

Despite an exciting line up of activities, the event isn’t just for fun. RecycleFest is serious about celebrating and sharing the importance of sustainable living, reducing, repairing and of course, recycling!

Make sure to take a look through the full list of items ElectroRecycle accepts to see if there’s anything you can drop off. Please note the event will not accept electronics, such as TVs, laptops, phones, and printers.

What: RecycleFest (free community event)
Who: ElectroRecycle
Where: Trout Lake Park (3300 Victoria Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4M4)
When: Saturday July 13, 2019 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

For more information about our collaborations with other Repair organizations, check out our “Don’t Toss It, Fix It” blog post here.

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