HARDWICK – Don’t throw away that broken bicycle! Or watch, or toaster, or piece of pottery.
Bring it to the first ever Hardwick Repair Café on Saturday, April 28. This event is being sponsored by the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, the Onion River Exchange, and the Center for an Agricultural Economy.
We will have at least two people who can fix bicycles, and at least eight other “fixperts” who can take a look at your electronic items, clothing, computer, and lots more. Please understand this repair café is free and the services are provided by volunteers. We make no guarantees that we can fix everything, but we’ll do as much as possible in the four-hour time frame.
Also – we will set up a Take Apart Table for the items that can’t be fixed. People will be able to indulge their curiosity about how things work.
As the Community Programs Manager for the Center for an Agricultural Economy, for the past four years I have seen a high level of excitement for ideas to reduce waste in Hardwick and the surrounding towns. Last year we worked with the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District, Hardwick Kiwanis, and Vermont Soap Company to break a world record for the most people washing dishes simultaneously during the town’s annual Springfest. It was a moment of glory when 345 people all washed their ceramic, glass and plastic plates and dishes at the same time. We came away from this incredible day with a collection of dishes and plates that can be used over and over again, saving the energy used to create paper and plastic items that would have been thrown into the trash after one use.
Here at CAE, the Vermont Food Venture Center composts its food scraps with the help of Black Dirt Farm in Stannard. In 2017 we recycled 39,528 pounds of food. This is the equivalent of not burning 1,756 gallons of gasoline. Every little bit counts as we seek creative ways to help conserve natural resources.
The Repair Café is one of the most creative methods we’ve heard of in Vermont! Our repair café was featured on Vermont Public Radio who congratulated us for this intriguing idea. As VPR put it, “The Fix Is In!”
On April 28, we have a great opportunity to save dozens of items from the landfill. Not only that, there will be opportunities to learn how to repair things. Even if it’s mostly by observation or by changing a mindset, this repair café will set the stage for more waste reduction in the future.
Examples of items to bring include bicycles, clocks and watches, small kitchen and home appliances, picture frames, lamps, electronics, textiles, pottery, ceramics, and porcelain, lamps, tools, toys, and more.
We’ll also have some coffee to enhance the café atmosphere and raffles going on. Prizes include a $25 gift card and jar of honey from Caledonia Spirits, and a Black and Decker Drill/Driver and 65 Piece Project Set.
The repair café will be at Hardwick Elementary School at 12 noon to 4 p.m. Please arrive with broken items by 3 p.m. so there will be time to fix your item before 4.
See you there! Dare to repair!
Check out the CVSWMD Repair Cafe webpage for more information, or contact Bethany Dunbar at email@example.com
Bethany M. Dunbar is the Community Programs Manager for the Center for an Agricultural Economy. She is the author of Kingdom's Bounty, a collection of photos and essays about farmers and food in the Northeast Kingdom. Her background is in dairy farming and journalism. She has a bachelor of science degree in education from Lyndon State College and lives in West Glover.