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Volunteers lend their expertise at Repair Café in Estevan

People brought in electronics and clothes to experts, keeping items from the landfill.
Erin Kraushaar and Patrick Fisher volunteered at a Repair Café at the Estevan Public Library on Saturday afternoon. 

ESTEVAN - People who needed repairs completed on their home electronics or clothing could drop by the Estevan Public Library on Saturday for the first-ever Repair Café in the city. 

Patrick Fisher did what he could to fix computers, small electronics, and audio-video equipment, while Erin Kraushaar of Infinite Crafting did the same for clothes and textiles on her sewing machine. They were kept busy throughout the day with people who booked appointments or who dropped in for help.  

The Repair Café is a pop-up, one-day event hosted by the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council to provide people a chance for free assistance.

Fisher said they don’t make a guarantee that they would be able to fix something, but they would give it their best effort. 

“Somebody has brought in a pair of pants that needed to be repaired,” said Fisher. “Somebody has brought in a jacket that needs a new zipper. I’ve taken a look at a laptop that had some software issues.” 

Later in the day, people brought sewing machines, a tablet, a sound system and another computer. 

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Fisher. “I think … a lot of stuff nowadays, we wind up in a throwaway culture, and part of it is new electronics. They’re built to work, and then … they don’t work. So, I think any chance we have to take something and prevent it from going into a landfill or just getting thrown away is a good opportunity.” 

Those who booked an appointment were given top priority.  

Fisher said the feedback they received was positive. The public was glad that somebody would take the time to look at their items, even if it couldn’t be fixed. In Fisher’s case, his job involves information-technology at Affinity Credit Union’s Estevan branch, and he also worked with electronics during his time with Golden West Broadcasting.  

“If it requires additional parts or something like that, we wouldn’t be able to help with it. If people come in, we’ll take a good, honest look at it and see what it can do.” 

Repair Café events have been held in Regina and Saskatoon, and Fisher said the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council is now trying to reach out to smaller centres. 


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