You may be familiar with ways to recycle, reduce and reuse tons of different items, but what if there was another way to keep items out of the waste stream? Some say that there is a fourth R: Repair. While you are spring cleaning, take a look at items that may be a little worn out or broken and think twice before disposing of them. There are plenty of resources to help you fix and maintain those items and keep them out of the garbage.
Bring it in and Fix it up
Fix-it clinics, which are offered around the Twin Cities, allow residents to bring in small household appliances, clothing, electronics, and more to receive free guided assistance on how to fix their items. Residents not only get their items fixed, but also learn valuable repair skills. Fix-It clinics are offered in Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin and Ramsey counties. Check with your county or city recycling coordinator for help in finding the nearest fix-it clinic!
Bring it and Fix it
Bring items that you can carry! No oversized items are allowed. Tools are provided but be prepared to be active, open stuff up and try to fix it. Items that are good to repair in fix-it clinics include lamps, small appliances like blenders or toasters, toys, and clothes to be mended or altered. Fixing these items yourself adds life to your belongings and will give you a great sense of accomplishment.
Click it and Fix it
If you need help with a larger item or can’t make it to a clinic, there are plenty of options online. YouTube is home to thousands of “how to” videos and other sites like Repair Clinic and Eric The Car Guy offer resources for fixing everything from appliances and heating and air systems to automobiles and lawn mowers. Another resource is iFixit, which provides many free manuals and an online community of people trying to fix various items including smartphones and tablets. You also can call the manufacturer of your item for some help troubleshooting. Many local businesses offer repair services for clothes, vacuums, appliances, and more.
Fixed and Finished
Keep things in your home working well andout of the garbage by taking good care of them. Learning skills at fix-it clinics or by consulting online resources gives you the ability to make some repairs yourself. And if you’re already handy, consider volunteering at future clinics. If you do need to get rid of something, consider all reuse options like donation and resale opportunities before placing things in the garbage.