Fixy Van at Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival

A Somerset environmental initiative which aims to encourage local residents to repair and reuse electrical items – rather than throw them away – to save money and help the planet has been hailed a success.

The ‘Fixy’ van promotes the repair and reuse of electrical items as a viable alternative to throwing them away or recycling them.

A survey by Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has found the Fixy project is successfully switching more people in Somerset on to the idea of repair and reuse of electricals.

More than 90% of Fixy event attendees who completed the survey said they were ‘very’ or ‘quite’ likely’ to get something repaired for reuse.

More than 60% said they felt better informed about how and where to get things fixed, and more than half that they now think more about buying refurbished or second-hand items.

The service launched last year and attended last October’s Burnham-On-Sea Food Festival and other local events during the year.

With the Fixy van visiting many more communities in the coming weeks, Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) wants everyone to make 2023 the year they love their stuff for longer.

Fixy is a granted-funded initiative run by SWP and Resource Futures encouraging people to consider repair and reuse, particularly when it comes to technology and electricals.

It supports and promotes Somerset’s fantastic network of volunteer-led repair groups, attending repair events to provide practical help with tools, spares and safety testing.

At other events it bangs the drum of repair and reuse, sharing information about the local opportunities and encouraging volunteers.

Fixy also runs ‘tech amnesties’ – collecting unwanted tech items at events and from businesses.

Thanks to project partner DonateIT, donated items are data wiped, refurbished and passed on to school children, refugees, elderly and isolated people, helping address the digital divide. Items that cannot be fixed are recycled responsibly.

Councillor Sarah Dyke, Chair of the Somerset Waste Board, said: “New year is a great time to get into good habits, so why not give repair and reuse a go?”

“Recycling is great but repair and reuse is even better – for the planet and your pocket. You don’t have to be a ‘keen green’ to do it and it’s easier than many people think.”

Fixy will be visiting the following places in the coming weeks. For more information about these events and the regular repair café sessions run by volunteers, visit somersetwaste/

They include: Saturday 11 February, 10am-12noon – Café Burtle, Village Hall, Burtle Road, Burtle, Bridgwater TA7 8NB with a “Pop Up Repair Event” – volunteer repairer fixing electrical and general items, collecting smart tech, signposting future events, promoting reuse, encouraging volunteers. Also, on Saturday 25 February (time TBC), the van will be at the Spring Seed Swap and Vegan Food Festival, High Street, Bridgwater.

Working electricals and electronics should always be passed on to others if they are no longer needed, and some charity shops will also accept them as donations.

Broken items that cannot be repaired for reuse can be recycled from the kerbside. Items must be small enough to fit into a carrier bag (not a black sack) which should be left untied next to your other recycling.

The Somerset project is one of three being funded by the Ecosurety Exploration Fund which supports innovative approaches to reducing the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or electrical items.  Resource Futures is an environmental consultancy specialising in the waste sector. Donate-IT is a Community Interest Company.

Pictured: The Fixy van out and about in Somerset and repair and reuse in action.


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