Before you head to one of ElectroRecycle’s 230+ collection sites across B.C. to recycle a broken small appliance or power tool – visit a Repair Cafe first!
What is a Repair Cafe?
Repair Cafes are community gatherings where visitors bring in broken household items to be fixed for FREE, or for a small donation. At the event, knowledgeable volunteers give advice and help to fix things like small appliances, power tools, furniture, electronics, bicycles, jewelry, decorations, clothing, and toys. When you visit a Repair Cafe, you and an expert repairer will roll up your sleeves to troubleshoot the fix together. It’s an ongoing learning process.
Why is a Repair Café worth visiting?
Repair cafes help to reduce the amount of waste in the environment. Rather than throwing away a broken item, you can bring it to the cafe and have it fixed instead. This helps to extend the life of the item and prevent it from ending up in a landfill.
Repairing an item can be cheaper than buying a new one. Visiting a repair cafe can help you save money on repairs and reduce your overall expenses.
Learn new skills
Repair cafes often have volunteers who are skilled at fixing a variety of items. By bringing your broken item to the cafe, you can learn how to fix it yourself and gain new skills that you can use in the future.
Meet new people
Repair cafes are community spaces where people can come together and work on fixing items. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and connect with others who are passionate about reducing waste and protecting the environment. For example – at the North Saanich Repair Cafe, each event comes together through the help of an average of 18 volunteers. North Saanich’s volunteers are event and volunteer coordinators, set-up and take-down crews, website experts, email responders, data sorters and managers, advertisers, administrators, community facilitators, parts shoppers, and of course – expert fixers!
What is the likelihood the item will be fixed?
Lets take a look at some real life data from the North Saanich Repair Cafe, which happens once a month on Vancouver Island. In early 2023, ElectroRecycle partnered with the Repair Cafe to collect items that couldn’t be fixed and offer an extra recycling location for the community.
The Repair Cafe saw fixes to things like vacuums, sewing machines, a number of DVDs and lamps, lots of dull blades, a portable heater, and a couple of clocks as well as clothing and jewelry. The more unusual fixes were a compost bucket (to make compost tea) and a school’s paper cutter.
Since 2020, more than 1000 different items have been presented for repair at the North Saanich Repair Cafe. And on-average 67 – 75% of the items are fixed by their amazing volunteers!
This number is consistent with numbers found by other Repair Cafes as well (like the Port Coquitlam Repair Cafe) which reports that approximately 70% of their items brought in for repair go home fixed!
ElectroRecycle’s role at Repair Cafés
Our recycling program’s main objective is to keep small appliances and power tools out of landfill. When possible, we attend alongside Repair Cafes to promote repair and collect small appliances and power tools beyond repair for recycling. In addition, we aim to spread awareness about the variety of electrical items (400+ different types!) that our program accepts. Above all, we want British Columbians to know how to recycle these items, ensuring proper disposal at their end-of-life.
B.C. Repair Cafes in 2023
Here’s a round-up of Repair Cafe’s we’ve heard are happening this year in British Columbia. Additionally, a database of Repair Cafes being held globally can be found at RepairCafe.org.
Please note that ElectroRecycle is NOT the host of these Repair Cafes, and ElectroRecycle may be in attendance at some but not all of the below listed Repair Cafes to collect recycling. Remember to check our events page regularly to discover the Repair Cafes we are attending and other collection events we have scheduled.
Howe Sound Repair Cafes
Squamish Repair Cafe – Squamish Repair Cafe info, Next scheduled date is October 14, 2023.
Interior Repair Cafes
Kamloops Repair Cafe – Hosted by Transition Kamloops. Sat June 17, and Sat Oct 21 at Kamloops Yacht Club (1140 River Street, Kamloops). Check the Kamloops Repair Cafe Facebook page for additional dates.
Kelowna Repair Cafe – Hosted by the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO), check RDCO’s website for dates.
Salmon Arm Repair Cafe – Located at and hosted by Shuswap Makerspace, 220 Shuswap St., NE. Follow Shuswap Makerspace on Facebook for dates.
Kootenays Repair Cafes
Fernie Heritage Library (FHL) Repair Cafes – Hosted by the FHL Makerspace, check FHL Makerspace’s webpage for date announcements.
The STEAM Truck – Based in the West Kootenays, the STEAM truck is available for any educational hands-on activity with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. It’s event initiatives include pop-up Repair Cafes so follow its Facebook page or visit thesteamtruck.ca to keep up to date on it’s latest plans.
Kimberley Fix it Fair – Hosted by Wildsight’s Youth Climate Corps. Over time Beer Works Patio. Saturday June 17. 12pm – 3pm. Event Info Here.
Lower Mainland Repair Cafes
Maple Ridge Repair Cafe – Locations vary. Dates: June 17, July 15, September 16, October 21, November 18. Check the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society website for more Info
Mission Repair Cafe (BRIM) – Located at the Mission Library, 33247 2nd Ave, Mission. Dates: Third Saturday of each month (except December). 10:30am – 1:30pm. More Info on BRIM’s website and Facebook Page.
Port Coquitlam Repair Cafe – Port Coquitlam Public Works Yard (1737 Broadway Street – entrance off of Cameron Ave). First Saturday of each month. 10am – 2pm. More Port Coquitlam Repair Cafe Info
Vancouver Repair Cafes – Locations vary, organized by the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC), check SPEC’s website for more information. Dates: June 17, July 22, and more dates TBD. Pre-registration highly recommended.
White Rock/ South Surrey Repair Cafe – Located at Alexandra Neighborhood House, Crescent Beach, Surrey. Monday, October 9th and Sunday, November 26. 1pm – 4pm. More Info
Sunshine Coast Repair Cafes
Sechelt Repair Cafe – Located at Sechelt Library. Second Saturday of the month. 10:30am – 2:30pm. More Info
Gibsons Repair Cafe – First and last Saturdays of the month. More Info
Vancouver Island Repair Cafes
Campbell River Repair Cafe – Visit the City of Campbell River Recreation’s Facebook page for event updates. Occasional events are held but not on a set schedule.
Fairfield Repair Cafes – Located at Fairfield Gonzales Community Hall, 1330 Fairfield Road, Victoria. October 14, 2023. 2pm – 4pm. Website Info, Facebook Event Info
Courtenay – Lake Trail Community Education Society has held Repair Cafes in the past and may have upcoming ones. Visit their website for event updates. Next cafe scheduled for November 18, 2023.
Metchosin Repair Cafe – Check the Metchosin Arts & Cultural Centre Association’s event page for future dates.
North Saanich Repair Cafes – Located at St John’s United Church, 10990 W Saanich Rd, North Saanich. Monthly (except for December when there is no Cafe). 10am – 1pm. More Info
Sooke Repair Cafes – Next event scheduled for November 5, 2023. Hosted by Zero Waste Sooke, check their Facebook page for updates
Let us know if you’d like a Repair Cafe in your community added to this list or would like us to attend your upcoming Repair Cafe in British Columbia. Please contact us via social media or email at email@example.com.