Photo: Repairs being made at a recent Fix-It Clinic event at Jamaica Plain. (Courtesy Paul Roberts)
By Paul F. Roberts
On Saturday, Feb. 9, Belmont will join a growing list of towns in Massachusetts and around the country hosting repair clinics to help residents and other community members extend the use of electronics, home appliances and even furniture and clothing.
Belmont’s first Fix-It Clinic will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Belmont Public Library on Concord Avenue. Repair coaches will be available to share their time, tools and expertise to help residents diagnose, troubleshoot and repair all manner of non-functioning items.
“Sustainable Belmont is pleased to collaborate with Belmont Public Library to bring the first in a series of Fix-It Clinics to Belmont,” said Terese Hammerle, the chair of Sustainable Belmont. “Not only do you save money, but we keep stuff from becoming trash. Waste not; want not. It’s still true!”
The Fix-it Clinic is a family event, Hammerle said. “Curious people of all ages are welcome.”
Repair coaches will bring their tools and know-how to help residents repair smart phones, home electronics and appliances - even clothing
Residents can bring small appliances to be repaired, clothing and textiles to be altered or mended, small furniture, wooden items, and anything else in need of fixing, said Hammerle. Walk-ins are welcome, but residents are strongly encouraged to register their item beforehand so that repair coaches know what to expect. An online form is available for registering repair items at https://goo.gl/K3Vkmc
“If you can carry it into the library, our expert fixers will coach you in assessment and repair of your item,” Hammerle said.
Director Peter Struzziero said the library “is proud to partner with Sustainable Belmont to offer this program for patrons of all ages. This is a great opportunity to partner with citizens and offer this service. We hope it’s just the beginning of other tech programming still being developed!”
Fix-it clinics are part of a grassroots repair movement that is gaining traction in both the US and Europe. With electronic waste the fastest growing waste stream globally, advocates say repair clinics are a way to extend the life of electronics.
“We need to take on our throwaway culture, and turn it on its head – and the first step is empower repair,” said Arlington resident Nathan Proctor, director of U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair efforts. “Community repair helps us build a culture of repair that challenges the idea that everything is disposable and they make it fun.
Residents who have questions about the Fix-it clinic can email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paul Roberts is a Town Meeting Member from Precinct 8.