Those broken or rundown items collecting dust in your garage are getting a second chance at life with the help of Tucson’s first and only repair cafe.
Tucson Repair Cafe, a local organization working toward 501(c)(3) status,is committed to repairing non-functional items and educating owners on how to continue fixing them in case of needed maintenance in the future.
The goal of the cafe is to help break out of the current “throwaway culture” and take a step toward zero-waste living.
Zero Waste Tip: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Get FREE STUFF through Facebook groups like Buy Nothing Los Alamos, NM and Freecycle. I have seen everything from half-used bottles of detergent and moving boxes to furniture and drill presses given away on these sites. And beer! Plus, you get to meet your community and help them clear clutter from their lives!
Reducing landfill waste and reusing items is at the core of the mission of the Freecycle Network (freecycle.org/town/TucsonAZ), a nonprofit grassroots movement founded by Tucsonan Deron Beal in 2003. Since then, it has grown to 9.5 million members globally who give and receive items for free through more than 5,000 local groups. Membership is free and the organization also offers small personal Friend Circles that allow members to lend items between friends and family members.
Back in 2007 I recommended an organization called Freecycle for divesting yourself of not just computers, but all sorts of stuff you want to get rid of. Freecycle is still around, and I dare say is even bigger now than back then. I did a quick Google search on “how to dispose of old computers” and found some additional places worth a look-see. Companies like PC Liquidations and eRecure are certified disposal specialists, and have collection points nationwide. Big box retailer Best Buy also has a free in-store recycling program for everything from cell phones to computers to appliances. If you have a Best Buy near you (and I happen to know that you do, Beverly!) check them out.
Another option to recycle and reuse is the Freecycle Post-Holiday Swap and Shred from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Woods Memorial Library, 3455 N. First Ave.
Now in its 10th year, the annual event offers the opportunity to trade unwanted items in good condition — clothing, toys and games, kitchen and household items, books, holiday items, small electronics and much more.
“The swap is a big community recycling celebration. It is a goodwill event,” said Elizabeth Salper, library associate at Woods and the event coordinator.
Salper said that the event is a collaborative effort not only between the library and the community, but also between the offices of Ward Three Councilman Paul Durham and Pima County Constable Bennett Bernal, who provide document shredding in the parking lot. Shredding is free for one standard-sized box of documents and is limited to three boxes; if shredding exceeds one box, a small donation is requested to benefit Lend A Hand Senior Assistance, a nonprofit that provides services to help the elderly remain independent in their homes.
Items left over after the swap are donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson.
Now if you’re logging on to shop – check out freecycle.org. This is a great resource when you’re looking to get rid of stuff – or find something at a discount. Check to see what’s available in your area. Teachers are also putting wish lists up there is you want to help them.