Glitchy phones, faulty toasters and broken kettles don’t belong in the bin.
Hammersmith & Fulham residents are invited to sign up for FREE training sessions to help reduce e-waste, cut household clutter and save money.
The events run from 1pm to 5pm, every last Sunday of the month, at the Hammersmith shopping mall in King Street.
WANTED: Volunteer fixers
“We’re always looking for fixers, always,” said event organiser Alex Horn, 52. “We welcome anyone.”
Alex, who moved to Shepherds Bush earlier this year, embarked on his fixing journey four years ago.
“I started mucking about with laptops; just bought a broken one and had a go at fixing it,” Alex said. “I became pretty proficient, so I set up the community interest company West Central London Fixers.”
Trainee fixers can join the event between 3pm and 5pm and shadow an experienced fixer to kickstart their own tinkering career.
No prior experience needed, Alex reassures: “Some of our trainees hadn’t even picked up a screwdriver before! It’s all about taking that first step.”
All experienced fixers are volunteers themselves.
“They all do it because they love fixing. They get a buzz from solving these puzzles. We’re very grateful for every single one of them.”
Join Alex and his crew and become a volunteer fixer. Sign up for a trainee session here.
Right to repair
Alex ‘cut his teeth as a volunteer fixer’ at the Restart Project – a social enterprise that advocates for the right to repair.
E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world that requires a local solution.
“We’re used to all this shiny, polished stuff, but there’s just something about getting older machines to work,” said Alex. “And there are many parts in the world where it’s the norm to repair stuff.”
From mobile phones and laptops, to vacuum cleaners, pressure cleaners and lamps with touch sensitive switches, ‘you get all sorts of things’ Alex said.
“One resident once came in with a vape, so that was a new one! And we had a 100-year-old Singer sewing machine. There actually wasn’t that much wrong with it,” he remembers.
In the end, all it needed was a new power cable.
“It’s a question of carefully exploring what can be done, and trying to make it a habit in society too,” Alex adds, “to try and instil a repair culture.”
The events have proven popular with residents, with the next event taking place on Sunday, 27 November.
Book a spot here. Or drop by for a walk-in between 4pm and 5pm.
In some cases, the device may be fixable, just not on the day.
“For example, for mobile phones, you need special eye wear, special magnifying glasses to do that,” Alex explains. “So we send them to a local repair shop.”
H&F residents can find, or even nominate, a local repair shop via the Restart Repair Directory.
What if it can’t be fixed?
Other times, the device may have simply reached the end of its life cycle.
H&F is home to various recycling sites for small electronic devices for residents to drop off their faulty gadgets.
- H&F libraries in Shepherds Bush, Hammersmith and Fulham: They’re not only home to small electrical recycling bins but also small battery recycling bins, small light bulb recycling boxes, textiles recycling bins, and dedicated laptop recycling bins.
- Local charities: SocialBox and Ready Tech Go collect, repair and then donate electrical items to people with no access to them, including refugees and homeless shelters.
- WEEE banks: Run in partnership with TRAID charity, there are 15 recycling sites across the borough where residents can donate small, portable electrical items as well as unwanted clothes, shoes and accessories.
- Home collection: In partnership with recylcing charity TRAID, we are offering FREE home collections for small and medium-sized electricals, including laptops, tools and household gadgets.
Or find more information including locations on our small electrical items webpage.
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