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Chopwell event gives broken goods a new lease of life

Tools on bench

Local people in the west of Gateshead are fighting back against the throwaway society this month - by helping to give broken household items a new lease of life.

Community group Transition West Gateshead are organising a Fix It Café at Chopwell Community Centre on Saturday 29 February where local people can bring broken electrical equipment and other household items and learn how to fix them.

People can bring broken items like vacuum cleaners, hi-fis, spectacles, bicycles or battery chargers for other volunteers with technical or repair skills to see if they can be resurrected. The repaired items can then be taken home, or swapped with something else, or donated.

Anyone who has tools and repair skills of their own and who is happy to come along and lend a hand will also be welcomed.

There will also be stalls offering help and advice on how to reduce, reuse, repair or recycle, advice on home composting, and how best to use the blue recycling bins and the council's Household Waste and Recycling Centres.

Entry is by donation.

The event is being held as planning gets underway on a project to extend similar Fix-It events throughout Gateshead as part of a DEFRA-funded project to divert electrical goods from domestic waste.  It's hoped the 12-month scheme will see 50 tonnes of old electrical items can be repaired and re-used and a further 50 tonnes sensitively recycled as part of the project.

Climate change in GatesheadThe Gateshead Council-run scheme will operate slightly differently to the Chopwell event, with unwanted electrical goods being tested and repaired before being distributed to those in greatest need, such as low-income households and families.

Councillor John McElroy, Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, says: "Tackling climate change is not just about swapping diesel  and petrol cars for electric ones.

"Household electrical items like irons and vacuum cleaners are expensive to make and require huge amounts of energy both to manufacture and to distribute. Yet as soon as one of them goes wrong, lots of us just throw them away and buy a new one.

"This means we are pumping millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere to manufacture things which, when they break down, are just thrown away leading to more and more carbon being pumped into the atmosphere to make new ones.

"That approach is just not sustainable and I applaud Transition West Gateshead for the example they are setting by organising these events."

Transition West Gateshead are a group of like-minded people in West Gateshead who are looking to make a practical response to the threat of climate change by focussing on energy, waste, food and transport.

The Fix It Café will be open on Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 12.00 until 3:30 pm at Chopwell Community Centre, Derwent Street, Chopwell.

For more information, contact Transition West Gateshead on (07742) 439023 or visit their website https://transitionwestgateshead.org.

Tools on bench
21 February 2020

Local people in the west of Gateshead are fighting back against the throwaway society this month - by helping to give broken household items a new lease of life.

Community group Transition West Gateshead are organising a Fix It Café at Chopwell Community Centre on Saturday 29 February where local people can bring broken electrical equipment and other household items and learn how to fix them.

People can bring broken items like vacuum cleaners, hi-fis, spectacles, bicycles or battery chargers for other volunteers with technical or repair skills to see if they can be resurrected. The repaired items can then be taken home, or swapped with something else, or donated.

Anyone who has tools and repair skills of their own and who is happy to come along and lend a hand will also be welcomed.

There will also be stalls offering help and advice on how to reduce, reuse, repair or recycle, advice on home composting, and how best to use the blue recycling bins and the council's Household Waste and Recycling Centres.

Entry is by donation.

The event is being held as planning gets underway on a project to extend similar Fix-It events throughout Gateshead as part of a DEFRA-funded project to divert electrical goods from domestic waste.  It's hoped the 12-month scheme will see 50 tonnes of old electrical items can be repaired and re-used and a further 50 tonnes sensitively recycled as part of the project.

Climate change in GatesheadThe Gateshead Council-run scheme will operate slightly differently to the Chopwell event, with unwanted electrical goods being tested and repaired before being distributed to those in greatest need, such as low-income households and families.

Councillor John McElroy, Cabinet member for Environment and Transport, says: "Tackling climate change is not just about swapping diesel  and petrol cars for electric ones.

"Household electrical items like irons and vacuum cleaners are expensive to make and require huge amounts of energy both to manufacture and to distribute. Yet as soon as one of them goes wrong, lots of us just throw them away and buy a new one.

"This means we are pumping millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere to manufacture things which, when they break down, are just thrown away leading to more and more carbon being pumped into the atmosphere to make new ones.

"That approach is just not sustainable and I applaud Transition West Gateshead for the example they are setting by organising these events."

Transition West Gateshead are a group of like-minded people in West Gateshead who are looking to make a practical response to the threat of climate change by focussing on energy, waste, food and transport.

The Fix It Café will be open on Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 12.00 until 3:30 pm at Chopwell Community Centre, Derwent Street, Chopwell.

For more information, contact Transition West Gateshead on (07742) 439023 or visit their website https://transitionwestgateshead.org.

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