Rockland’s first Repair Café is set to Debut May 6

Residents are encouraged to bring beloved broken items to the Nyack Center to be fixed, free of charge, by repair coaches

Photo of a Repair Cafe in Europe, specific location unknown (Photo credit – Wiki)

The first-ever Rockland County “Repair Café” is scheduled for Sunday, May 6, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Nyack Center in downtown Nyack. Repair Cafés connect people who have broken items – usually ones of personal significance – with “repair coaches,” persons who know-how to fix things and enjoy doing just that.

The result of a successful Repair Café? Things get fixed rather than deteriorate into junk.

The group fix-it mentality creates positive energy, as well. Repairing things instead of junking them tends to promote self-reliance, conservation and affordability, as well as good will among neighbors.

Anna Roppolo, executive director of the Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority, said it is important to promote the Repair Cafés. “Repairs not only save money and resources, they can help minimize CO2 emissions,” she said. “Reducing what we put into the trash is how we can make the greatest impact.”

In a civilization filled with disposable goods and disposable attitudes, the ability to fix or repair items is a dying art. The Repair Café celebrates the time, talent and transfer of a fixer’s expertise, ensuring that their knowledge is shared with others – especially young people.

Several local governments, governmental entities and community groups joined forces to create the May 6 “Repair Café” event, including the County of Rockland, Rockland County Solid Waste Management Authority, Rockland County Youth Bureau, the Village of Nyack and Sierra Club of Rockland County.

“The benefits of this partnership are extensive and transformational; preserving repair know-how skills by passing them on to the younger generation is critical to Rockland’s shared future,” County Executive Ed Day said. “I ask that you join me in this important initiative because only by working together, fostering a true sense of community, can we complete the renaissance that we have begun in this county.”

Grab your broken item and join the repair coaches on May 6! It just might open your eyes to the value of the stuff you have in your life. For more information, or to call ahead to check if a repair coach can fix your item, call 845-364-2932 or e-mailrcsc@co.rockland.ny.us.

Anything that can be carried in by an individual will be considered for repair, except for items with gas engines (i.e.no lawn mowers, chainsaws, gas-powered landscaping equipment). Repair coaches will assess your item and fix it for free, provided they have the materials needed on-hand. Coaches almost always have the know-how!

Rockland County is not the first place to host a Repair Café. It is an idea that has been percolating in pockets of America for close to a decade now. Some credit the first-ever Repair Cafe to a Dutch woman, Martine Postma, who hosted an event in 2009.

Are Repair Cafes an idea everyone can agree to get together on?

Perhaps.

Check out Rockland’s first such event May 6 in Nyack.