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Santa Monica Hosts Repair Cafes

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From trash to treasure. Find out how Santa Monica is changing the culture of its community with its zero waste strategies.

The City of Santa Monica prides itself of being an environmental leader. In 2014, the city adopted the waste diversion goal of 95 percent by 2030, which exceeds the state’s goal of 65 percent. Currently, the city diverts 77 percent of its waste from landfills.

Among many things, the city has organized several community events that encourage waste diversion. Twice a year, Santa Monica hosts Repair Cafe events, to help residents fix a range of broken house items that residents may have otherwise thrown away and replaced.

The events bring together community members with a handful of skillful volunteers in different repair stations, who will attempt to fix the variety of items that come in at no charge.

Residents can bring almost any type of home items in need of hemming or fixing, like torn clothing, appliances that stopped working and broken furniture. Other items typically brought for fixing are bikes, jewelry, toys, books, guitars and even smartphones.

The Repair Cafes are only one of the many community events aiming to reduce waste hosted in Santa Monica. Other events paper shredding, where residents bring the paper in their home to shred and recycled, compost giveaways made from residents’ food and yard waste, and an annual bottle cap art project, where children turn hundreds of caps on communal art pieces.

The city also promotes reuse through their annual back yard sale and their swapping Halloween custom event.

Additionally, Santa Monica has established NeighborGoods a forum that promotes the reuse of items. Residents can become members of the forum and connect with other residents to swap and share items amongst each other, instead of buying new ones that will eventually be thrown away.

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