Somerset Council is asking people to think about fixing as they gear up for the festive season.

According to Material Focus ‘Recycle your electricals’ campaign, 35 million of us admit to throwing away Christmas fairy lights when they are broken – enough to wrap round the earth nearly 12 times.

Think ahead and check your festive electricals – whether its fairy lights or neon Santas – before you put them up.

If faults do occur, Somerset has a thriving network of repair groups which may be able to help.

There are more than 20 groups across the county, run by skilled volunteers who can turn their hand to fixing many different things. Skills vary from group to group depending on volunteers, but often include electrical, mechanical, sewing repairs as well as general gluing and sticking. Some also offer repairs for bicycles, jewellery, and more.

For details about the groups, when and where they meet visit: Somerset’s Repair Network.

The following groups will be running in December:

  • Burnham and Highbridge Repair Café, Thursday 7 December, Saturday 16 December, 10am-1pm.
  • Chard Community Hub,  Sewing Hub every Tuesday 10-11.30am, General Repair Hub every other Saturday 9am-12noon.
  • Glastonbury Repair Café, Saturday 16 December, 10am-12noon.
  • Ilminster Share and Repair usually Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays 10am -2pm.
  • Brittons Ash Repair Café (Monkton Heathfield), Wednesday 20 December, 2-4pm
  • Porlock Vale Repair Café, Saturday 16 December, 10am-12noon.
  • Shepton Mallet Repair Café, Saturday 9 December, 11am-1pm.
  • Wivey Repair Café, Saturday 16 December, 10am-12noon.

The Fixy Project, which is run in partnership with Somerset Council will be heading to  eat: Taunton festival on 16 December. The Fixy team will be promoting repair and reuse and have details on Somerset’s Repair Network.

You can also donate unwanted smart tech for reuse, including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, digital cameras and other smart devices. Data will be securely wiped by Donate IT before items are passed back into the community to tackle the digital divide.

Even if they cannot be repaired, electricals contain raw materials like copper and gold. If you throw them away, they are lost forever.

If your items are beyond repair, or you are not going to keep them, make sure to sustainably dispose of them. Options include:

  • Recycle at the kerbside. Small electricals should be put in a carrier bag and left in your recycling boxes with your weekly collection.
  • Larger electricals should be recycled and taken to a local recycling site – or request a bulky collection online or use a retailer’s take back scheme when replacing.
  • Unwanted smart tech can be donated for reuse to DonateIT – via drop off points – or hand to Fixy at eat: Taunton festival or other events it will be attending in the coming months. DonateIT will data wipe before repairing what they can, or securely recycle anything that cannot be reused.

Cllr Dixie Darch, Somerset Council’s Executive Lead Member for Environment and Climate Change, said:

Repairing broken items is a sustainable and cost-effective option for residents and promoting and support the county’s network of repair groups is part of what we can do to help Somerset become a greener, more sustainable county.

The dedication of these volunteers has prevented many items from going to waste. It’s great to see a thriving network of groups in every corner of the county.

If your items are beyond repair, or if you are not going to keep them, make sure to sustainably dispose of them.

For more information on the Fixy project and what events they will be visiting, head to Fixy page.

Fairy lights and decorations on Christmas Tree

About this article

December 4, 2023

Isabella Cole

Press Release