West Linn & Hillsboro PlanetCon event Recaps

Robinwood Station’s 7th Repair Fair was busy as 10 fixer volunteers (plus 8 other volunteers) repaired lamps, vacuum cleaners, space heaters, food dehydrator, vase, coffee maker, bicycle chain, jewelry, and various items of clothing, pillows, and bags. 108 items were repaired (wow!) which kept over 300 lbs from heading to the scrap yard or landfill.

Thanks to the volunteers, of course, and Clackamas County, Friends of Robinwood Station, Master Recyclers, & City of West Linn for your support.

In January, Repair Fair brought repair to PlanetCon in Hillsboro. 32 people brought almost 50 items for repair. Over half of the items left in working condition or on their way to a potential repair.

I’ve noticed a couple things over the year.

Some of the value of getting a diagnosis from our fixer volunteers is getting that confirmation that it is “OK” to toss or recycle something and that a repair is unlikely. This can be a relief if you are trying to clear out your space and feel bad about throwing away something that could still work.

Secondly, sometimes, the item someone brings in isn’t broken at all. The owner simply doesn’t quite understand how the item works – the instructions may be long gone – and our volunteers help them learn about their item. Either way the item goes from useless to useful!

As a side note – PlanetCon was a success for recycling as well. We collected and recycled 7,000 lbs of electronics, small appliances and broken string lights; 140 cubic yards of Styrofoam; 1,000 lbs of plastic caps, lids and small containers; nearly 1,000 lbs of stretchy plastic bags and film; and 2,200 lbs of batteries.

Thank you to all the volunteers that helped make these repair events work. YOU ARE THE BEST! The more we make repair visible, the more people might think repair first before considering recycling or disposal of potentially usable things.