As a society, we throw away vast amounts of stuff. Current estimates put the amount of trash generated by Americans each year at 254 million tons! As current recycling technologies reach their limits of usefulness, reducing, re-using, and repairing the things we consume has become increasingly important to creating sustainable solutions to addressing the challenge of the global waste stream.
The problem is we often lack the knowledge or confidence necessary to make even the most basic of repairs. The Dare to Repair Café is Western New York’s take on the global Repair Café movement, which started more than 10 years ago in Amsterdam. Conceived as a way to rethink waste and transform our throw away economy at the local level by teaching traditional, hands-on repair skills, the Repair Café model is helping to rekindle fixer culture across the globe.
Repair Cafés connect highly skilled volunteer fixers to individuals with broken items and, through hands-on instruction and troubleshooting, teach people the value, ease, and sense of accomplishment repair can bring. Small shifts in our thinking and habits can have a huge impact on one of our world’s most pressing challenges.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Our current categories of repair are: Small Appliances, Tools, Lamps, Bikes, Clothing, Equipment, and Furniture.
Dare to Repair Cafes will be on a monthly basis in the future. You can find information on our website thetoollibrary.org or Facebook.
No. Due to our limited volunteers instructors we will only be able to accommodate repairs within the specified Dare to Repair Cafe days and times.
You do not need to have a reservation to attend the cafe, it is entirely free and open to the public. However, there are only one to two instructors per repair category so repairees are encouraged to come throughout the entire cafe and not just the start.
It’s free! Advice and guidance from our volunteer repairers is free of charge to allow everyone the chance to actively become in engaged in reducing trash in the waste stream, but, voluntary donations are always appreciated! These donations help us to pay for space rental and material costs to host more repair cafes around Buffalo.
Unfortunately no, because our repairers are all volunteer and not a service they do not make house calls for larger items such as washer or dryers.
While we would love to fix all items that come our way, we DO NOT take donation of broken items as there isn’t enough storage or time to fix them all. Monetary donations are always appreciated!
We encourage repairees to bring any replacement part known to them since we do have replacement pieces for some items but cannot guarantee we will have the specific part you need to repair your item.
No, we do not make house-calls to collect items which need to be repaired. Also, items must brough to repair cafes MUST be taken home with you if a repair cannot be made or recycling is not available at the host site.
In the spirit of sharing knowledge, creating community and fear of acquiring broken items, we require all repairees to stay with their item until it has been repaired or worked-on by the volunteer repairer. Instructors will only work on one item for a 30 to 45min time period before moving on to the next customer.
OUR IMPACT TO DATE
NEWS & UPDATES
PARTNERS IN REPAIR
Dare to Repair Cafes are made possible thanks to individual donations and support from our sponsors:
- Clif Bar Foundation