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Repairing goods and reducing landfill

Guido Verbist, General Manager of The Bower Reuse and Repair Centre,

an environmental not-for-profit organisation that opened Australia’s first repair cafe in inner Sydney back in 2014.

The pioneer program aims to reduce the amount of waste entering landfill by reclaiming household items for reuse, repair and resale at affordable prices and by encouraging communities to engage in repurposing of preloved goods

Based on the idea of locals lending their knowledge and tools to mend neighbours’ household goods and in the process reduce waste, the first cafe was organised in Amsterdam in 2009.  There are now more than 1500 worldwide, about 40 in Australia.

“It’s helping people keep items rather than ­having to throw them away,” says Guido Verbist, general manager of The Bower.

“Traditional skills have been lost and nowadays you throw things away because it’s cheaper to buy a new one.”

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