Truckee Fix It clinic encourages reuse of household items |

Truckee Fix It clinic encourages reuse of household items

Torn up dogs toys, broken television stands and glitchy electronics are household items that normally find their way into a landfill once they’ve outlived their purpose.

The Town of Truckee is looking to change that.

The Truckee Roundhouse, along with sustainability specialists from the town, hosted the 6th Fix It Clinic on Tuesday night and gave residents the opportunity to fix their broken household items.

“It seemed like a really great opportunity to have access to tools that I don’t normally have access to, and to be able to breathe new life into things that are obviously well-loved,” said Simone Cordery-Cotter, who spent the evening sewing up stuffed dinosaurs that her one-year-old puppy chewed up.

“We’re going to figure out how to sew these back together so they’re more structurally sound,” she said, while pinning the torn cloth back together. “I’d like to see them make it another year and a half before I have to put them in the landfill.”

Across the table from Cordery-Cotter sat Holly Verbeck working with volunteer coach Todd Shimkus to fix a malfunctioning Chi Machine which helps to alleviate swelling in the ankles for those with poor circulation. Verbek had bought the $200 machine on Ebay and discovered that it was not working properly. Instead of getting rid of it, or purchasing a new one, she brought it to the clinic to fix it herself.

In the woodshop, coaches helped to repair broken chairs, picture frames and other wooden furniture items.

“You never know what you’re going to see walk through the door here,” said Erica Mertens, Truckee recycling manager, who helps organize the event. “It’s good to see people thinking about fixing something rather than throwing it out.”

Along with volunteer coaches, two representatives from Patagonia were there to help repair the brand’s jackets that were brought in.

“We’ve definitely seen an uptake in attendance since we’ve been partnering with Patagonia,” said Mertens. “I think their presence has really helped get the word out.”

Each workshop, each item brought into to be fixed is weighed. After five workshops, about 1,000 pounds of what would be waste has been kept from ending up in a landfill.

“We’re just trying it change the culture little by little as far as reducing the amount of waste that we’re generating,” said Mertens. “This is just one step.”

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or

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