Repair Cafe to open in Mt Hawthorn

Perth residents have launched a Repair Café in Vincent in an effort to change the way people think about their broken household items.

Repair Cafés are free community meeting places where people bring along broken items, such as laptops, bicycles and furniture to combat post-consumer waste.

The City of Vincent has granted approval for Perth residents Angie Kings-Lynne and Elle Gonzalez-Skuja to open the community meeting place in Mount Hawthorn.

Angie and Elle opened Repair Café Perth at the end of last year and run monthly sessions on the third Saturday of every month at Academy Café at the Mezz.

Repair Café Perth co-ordinator Elle Gonzalez-Skuja said landfill and CO2 emissions were reduced by the project because products were repaired instead of being replaced.

“Visitors are assisted by a volunteer expert to learn how to fix the broken items,” she said.

“We have been so fortunate with our volunteers. The people that we have attracted are people who like fixing things and have got some expertise.”

According to the Australian National Waste Report in 2016, Western Australia had a low landfill levy compared to Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales.

Ms Gonzalez-Skuja said they had set up a Facebook page to help attract volunteers, and already had an amazing array of expertise available to them.

“We have electricians work a bit on battery-operated and low-voltage appliances, volunteers who do general DIY and we have some laptop guys. Say you’ve got a broken laptop or computer, they can extract the data from that and save it on a hard drive,” Ms Gonzalez-Skuja said.

“We’ve got a bike repairer too, so the people who volunteer here are just tinkerers. They are just amazing.”

Ms Gonzalez-Skuja said visitors could just turn up to the repair café reception and then register to get their product fixed.

“You are taken to the appropriate repair station to have your item looked at, then hopefully you learn how to fix it with the repairer,” she said.

“We involve the visitor in the process as well because there is an element of this about training people and skilling people up.”

You can hear more of our interview with Elle Gonzalez-Skuja here: