WYANDANCH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Repair cafés have been popping up all over the country, allowing people to bring in broken items and have them fixed for free instead of seeing them dumped in landfills.
Now, one woman is trying to make the concept work on Long Island.
Laurie Farber hosted a repair café in June, and has scheduled another one next month, at Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Church in Wyandanch. As TV 10/55 Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported, she already has the signs she plans to put up to advertise the unique concept, where the motto is, “Toss it? No way.”
“We make so much trash. We’re a throw-away society,” she said. “We really want people to think rather than throwing things away.”
Farber said she was inspired by worldwide efforts to reduce landfill waste by convincing experts who can repair electronics, computers and small furniture to volunteer their expertise at no charge. A repair café in California recently drew dozens of people hoping to get prized gadgets fixed.
Farber has already lined up a half dozen of what she labeled “repair coaches” for the upcoming fair.
“We have a young woman who makes jewelry, so she has tools to repair things; a high school teacher who has been working on bicycles for a long time,” Farber said.
Farber said repair cafes are no threat to established repair businesses. One repair shop manager agreed and is even considering offering his services.
“If they do have a business, although it’s free, they can put out their card so people would know where to go in the future,” Farber said.
About 20 people attended Farber’s first repair café in June, including Edith Salmeron, who was about ready to give up on her juice maker.
“The juice maker, I don’t know how to make it work – and they made it work,” she said.
Salmerion said at the upcoming fair on Saturday, Nov. 4 at the church, she hopes to get a coffee pot repaired.
Farber makes no guarantees they can fix everything, especially if parts are needed. But she added it is a win-win for saving money and the environment.