25th May 2022

Fixy: love your stuff for longer

Image of the repair and reuse of electricals taking place at the Taunton Repair Café earlier this year.

Repair and reuse are about to get supercharged across Somerset with the launch of Fixy this week.

Fixy will be helping bring repair and reuse of electricals and electronics to Somerset communities, spearheaded by a customised van packed with tools and know-how.

The Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) initiative makes its first appearance at the eat:Taunton event this Saturday (14 May) as part of the “The Big Fix” initiative.

Recycling is great, but repair and reuse is even better: it is easy, saves money and helps save the planet. This is about loving your stuff for longer – if it has a plug or takes batteries, Fixy wants to help give it new lease of life.

The van named – Fixy McFixface by public vote earlier in the year – will travel the county providing tools and a portable appliance (PAT) testing service powered by its rooftop solar panels to support Somerset’s network of repair cafes and similar groups.

It will also attend events to promote repair and reuse, provide information about local repair cafes and groups, and encourage volunteers to get involved and share their skills.

And, by teaming up with Somerset-based Donate-IT, Fixy will be taking donations of broken or unwanted smart tech for repair to pass on to those schools, groups or individuals who need them.

For more information and the latest on Fixy, including where Fixy McFixface will be and when, and how to get involved in repair and reuse visit somersetwaste.gov.uk/fixy 

The Fixy roadshow will be at eat:Taunton from 10am to 4pm on Saturday. Please drop in and have a chat. Anyone completing a short Fixy survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a refurbished laptop, smartphone or tablet.

The team will also sign-post people to the nearby Taunton Repair Café which is running from 1.30-4.30pm at nearby Moose Hall on Tower Lane (TA1 4AR).

The Repair Café volunteer specialists will do their best to fix anything taken along, including electricals, electronics and clothing, as well as furniture, toys, tools and ceramics. They will also be able to sharpen knives and small tools.

Repair cafes are also scheduled to be running in Wells and on the Blackdown Hills on Saturday 14 May as part of “The Big Fix”.

Each year millions of tonnes of electrical and electronic waste is thrown away and it is estimaed that the average UK household has 20 unwanted electrical items.

Fixing electricals is often easier than people think and as well as environmental benefits, it saves money and means you can keep hold of loved items for longer.

Mickey Green, Managing Director of SWP, said: “There are volunteers dotted around the county doing fantastic work and we’re here to help them flourish.

“We want everyone to consider repair and reuse before recycling or throwing things away, especially electricals and electronics. It makes sense in so many different ways, please give it a go”.

Working electricals and electronics should always be passed on to others or donated to charity shops if they are no longer needed.

Broken items that cannot be repaired for reuse can be recycled from the kerbside as part of Recycle More collections. Items must be small enough to fit into a carrier bag (not a black sack) which should be left untied next to your other recycling.

Sarah Hargreaves, Behaviour change lead at Resource Futures, said: “We know lots of people already attend repair events, but even more have not come across the opportunity yet. We hope Fixy will help bring the idea of repair to every high street, and help people rethink their relationship with the things they buy and own”.

Later in the year, Fixy plans to visit schools and businesses to discuss how repair and reuse could work for them.

The Fixy project is being delivered by SWP in partnership with Resource Futures and Donate-IT with grant funding from Ecosurety Exploration Fund.