Bin the throw away attitude

The Advertiser Series: Lingfield Point estate manager Eddie Humphries and Frances from the Restart Project Lingfield Point estate manager Eddie Humphries and Frances from the Restart Project

LINGFIELD Point is helping to bin ‘throw-away society’ behaviour by getting experts on site to help businesses breathe new life into broken and damaged equipment.

The Restart Project visited Lingfield Point, Darlington, to run workshops for its customers - and help reduce the 48m tonnes of costly electronic devices thrown away each year.

In the UK alone an estimated £792m-worth of devices are binned - because we have no idea what to do when they break down.

The Restart Project was started in 2012 by Janet Gunter and Ugo Vallauri, who were troubled by attitudes towards electronics in ‘rich’ countries.

So they started holding Restart Parties.

Ms Gunter said: “We help people learn to repair their own electronics at community events and in workplaces – and we speak publicly about repair and resilience.

“At our workshops, employees have the chance to bring their own electronics as well, learn one-to-one with our repair coaches - and feel the power of restarting.”

“We bring along professional repair tools and equipment.

“You bring your own broken devices from home – and we learn how to troubleshoot and repair together.”

Lingfield Point is renowned for its positive approach to recycling and disused things back into use and its own award-winning offices were created from the former Patons and Baldwins wool factory.

Eddie Humphries, estate manager, said: “The idea of reviving lifeless office equipment and electronic devices really appealed to us.

Comments (1)

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12:47pm Fri 16 May 14

Spy Boy says...

This appeals to me. I always try to repair stuff first, before looking at buying new stuff. Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder to repair stuff these days. This is down to a couple of things. Firstly, the manufacturers would rather sell new and they make stuff cheaply, so that it's almost impossible to replace parts at component level. This is not helped by the components having no standard I.D. It used to be that you could identify a chip by its number. From this you could buy new parts, or even improved parts. A lack of available circuit drawings is also a feature of this. Maplin was a very handy source of spares, but they don't seem to have the range anymore, so I get stuff on the internet from RS and Farnell.

Secondly, the quality of materials and lack of spares, means that it is almost impossible to try and repair broken mechanical parts. The stuff is designed to be assembled in a factory, quickly and cheaply. No thought is put into how you get into these things and some cases you need to damage the item further to get into the broken parts. I've had some success repairing things, but have had to come up with all sorts of tricks to do it. This initiative is a start. We really need to be able to recycle more.

I remember that we used to use a large number of measuring devices where I worked. They were quite robust, but could be damaged if not cared for. They used to be about £250 each, but they did a handy repair kit which meant that I could repair them for £17.50. The repair and re-cal used to take about 10 minutes. It's all about getting people to change their mindset.
This appeals to me. I always try to repair stuff first, before looking at buying new stuff. Unfortunately, it's getting harder and harder to repair stuff these days. This is down to a couple of things. Firstly, the manufacturers would rather sell new and they make stuff cheaply, so that it's almost impossible to replace parts at component level. This is not helped by the components having no standard I.D. It used to be that you could identify a chip by its number. From this you could buy new parts, or even improved parts. A lack of available circuit drawings is also a feature of this. Maplin was a very handy source of spares, but they don't seem to have the range anymore, so I get stuff on the internet from RS and Farnell. Secondly, the quality of materials and lack of spares, means that it is almost impossible to try and repair broken mechanical parts. The stuff is designed to be assembled in a factory, quickly and cheaply. No thought is put into how you get into these things and some cases you need to damage the item further to get into the broken parts. I've had some success repairing things, but have had to come up with all sorts of tricks to do it. This initiative is a start. We really need to be able to recycle more. I remember that we used to use a large number of measuring devices where I worked. They were quite robust, but could be damaged if not cared for. They used to be about £250 each, but they did a handy repair kit which meant that I could repair them for £17.50. The repair and re-cal used to take about 10 minutes. It's all about getting people to change their mindset. Spy Boy
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