Restarting Tooting photo 1Yesterday I was witness to an inspiring event, a Restart Project drop-in event organised by Transition Town Tooting. If you haven’t come across Restart Project, they are a charity ‘taking local action to prevent electronic waste through hands-on, learning events where we help people fix their own electronics – and help others to do the same globally’. If you haven’t yet come across our neighbours in Wandsworth, they have some brilliant projects going: Transition Town Tooting.

Restart Project events, or similar, happen in a few parts of London but not currently in our corner, but we do have the Richmond Maker Labs in Ham, which works slightly differently. Usually a local hosting organisation will organise and publicise the event. Tonight visitors were turning up before the event started, surely demonstrating a need in the community for such a facility. Items brought in ranged from microwaves (turntable not working), kettles, toasters, portable grill, cracked tablet screen and a family who brought in parts for a traditional buzzer game they were making from waste wood, copper piping and other bits – very enterprising. Most of these items are known as small WEEE to those who work in the recycling world, something even as an adult, never ceases to bring a quick smile.

Restart Project average 45% fix rate for the items brought in which is marvellous given they have no idea what items will be brought in and many are very old. We were so inspired, we are giving thought to organising one locally as a trial – what do you think?

Opening up a microwave with a non-working turntable