A new environmental initiative that aims to encourage local residents area to repair and reuse items to save money and help the planet is set to launch.

Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) is launching ‘Fixy’, a customised van packed with tools and know-how, to help encourage the repair and reuse of electricals and electronics across the county.

The van was named ‘Fixy McFixface’ in a public vote earlier in the year and will travel the county providing tools and a portable appliance (PAT) testing service powered by its rooftop solar panels to support Somerset’s network of repair cafes and similar groups.

It will also attend events to promote repair and reuse, provide information about local repair cafes and groups, and encourage volunteers to get involved and share their skills.

And by teaming up with Somerset-based Donate-IT, Fixy will be taking donations of broken or unwanted smart tech for repair to pass on to those schools, groups or individuals who need them.

For more information and the latest on Fixy, including where Fixy McFixface will be and when, and how to get involved in repair and reuse visit somersetwaste.gov.uk/fixy

Each year millions of tonnes of electrical and electronic waste is thrown away and it is estimated that the average UK household has 20 unwanted electrical items.

Fixing electricals is often easier than people think and as well as environmental benefits, it saves money and means you can keep hold of loved items for longer.

Mickey Green, Managing Director of SWP, said: “There are volunteers dotted around the county doing fantastic work and we’re here to help them flourish. We want everyone to consider repair and reuse before recycling or throwing things away, especially electricals and electronics. It makes sense in so many different ways, please give it a go.”

Working electricals and electronics should always be passed on to others or donated to charity shops if they are no longer needed.

Broken items that cannot be repaired for reuse can be recycled from the kerbside as part of Recycle More collections. 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.

Later in the year, Fixy plans to visit schools and businesses to discuss how repair and reuse could work for them.

Sarah Hargreaves, Behaviour change lead at Resource Futures, said: “We know lots of people already attend repair events, but even more have not come across the opportunity yet. We hope Fixy will help bring the idea of repair to every high street, and help people rethink their relationship with the things they buy and own”.

The Fixy project is being delivered by SWP in partnership with Resource Futures and Donate-IT with grant funding from Ecosurety Exploration Fund. The initiative makes its first appearance at the eat:Taunton event this Saturday (14 May).

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