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Fixers Collective: Repairing to Keep Things Out of the Landfill

Photo Courtesy: Vincent Lai


The Fixers Collective is something of a social experiment. It brings together people of various backgrounds who all have one thing in common -- they like to fix things. In fact, they will fix your stuff for free. They meet a couple of times a month at locations throughout the city. People bring in everything, from Macbook and iPhones, to antique clocks for repair. 

Vincent Lai is the lead organizer. He said this effort cultivates a greater appreciation for our things.

"I think that a lot of people pull that trigger way too early when they throw things away or turn it in for recycling," said Lai.

Joe Holdner is a retired science teacher. His task was to fix a defcunt leaf blower-- a job Holdner called simple, once inside the machine. 

"It takes 5 minutes to repair, but an hour taking them apart and putting them back together," said Holdner. 

David Klein is a Rabbi from Park Slope, Brooklyn. He tinkers with his 60 year old KitchenAid mixer, which is on the fritz. He won't discard it because of some simple advice he got as a kid. 

"My mother told me many many years ago to fix things and not throw them away, thats all," said Klein.  

Staten Island resident Margaret Siggilino brought her printer to the Fixers Collective to avoid contributing to environmental baggage. 

"I know a printer is not that expensive, but if you can get it fixed and keep it out of the waste stream, that gives me piece of mind," said Siggilino. 

Electronic waste occupies two percent of landfills, but accounts for 70 percent of the overall tox waste strean, according to