15 November 2019

Bega Valley Repair Cafe gives the broken and busted a second chance

| Ian Campbell
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David Neyle, Dörte and Martin Planert at the Bega Valley Repair Cafe. Photo: Ian Campbell.

David Neyle, Dörte and Martin Planert at the Bega Valley Repair Cafe. Photo: Ian Campbell.

Forget the tip – the Bega Valley now has a place where much loved but broken and busted appliances get a second chance.

Bega Valley Repair Cafe is a not-for-profit community initiative with the purpose of repairing items rather than seeing them go into landfill.

“It also provides a social connection for people as they learn how to repair everyday items for themself,” says volunteer electronics fixer David Neyle.

“We tend to live in a very consumer-driven society these days, things are seen as being cheap and disposable, we argue that they can actually be fixed.

“We’ve got a team of volunteer enthusiasts with different skills and we give it a red hot go to keep this stuff out of landfill.”

As I chat to David he has three projects on the go – a broken turntable, a busted food processor and an antique lamp that is blown out.

“The food processor belongs to a lady who says she’s had it for many years and has a real connection to it, she doesn’t want to buy a new one – she wants her old faithful,” David explains.

“I get a real buzz when I get something going that I know would otherwise be treated as junk.

“CD players are a good example at the moment, there are a whole lot of CD players that are hitting that 20-year mark and people come in and say – it can’t read the disk any longer.

“It turns out the lasers inside them wear out over time. Believe it or not, those laser heads cost me about $15 to buy on eBay and that’s the cost of the repair for something that otherwise would have been thrown out.”

The Bega Valley Repair Cafe runs every Friday between 10 am and 2 pm in the Bega Youth Space on Gipps Street, next to the Court House, opposite Target. Patrons are asked to cover the cost of parts and make a small donation if their item is fixed.

“Don’t feel like you’ve got something that nobody would know how to fix, bring it in and if we don’t know how to repair it we’ll often know how it can be repaired,” David says.

“More often than not we’ll find a solution to whatever it is that you’ve got that’s broken.”

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Heather Compton8:10 am 13 Jul 20

Hi all is there a repair café in Moruya or Batemans Bay?

Smilie Magill8:10 pm 29 Apr 20

Hi David,
I found you via SHASA they want to do a similar thing in Moruya, great idea. I am with the Narooma Mens Shed and we do the same thing, more furniture repairs and metalwork. Anyhow I have a large Akai cassett player / recorder, bit sentimental, it was my cousin’s, he passed away last year. We grew up together as kids. I have also kept my collection of cassetts. Can I interest you in haveing a go ?
Cheers Smilie Magill. 0447264177 Central Tilba
PS I have just finished restoring a Suzuki LJ80 jeep. it has been a journey (12 months) but I know a lot more about cars, tremendous satisfaction.

I’ll be checking this out for sure.
Wonder if they have a 3D printer…

What a great idea! Sometimes we just replace things because we can’t get them repaired.

Great work peoples…

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