Throw it away?

No way

Posted 9/14/23

NARROWSBURG, NY — Why throw it out when you can get it fixed for free? Repair Café Tusten is back from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 16 at the Tusten Town Hall. “We live …

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Throw it away?

No way


NARROWSBURG, NY — Why throw it out when you can get it fixed for free?
Repair Café Tusten is back from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 16 at the Tusten Town Hall.

“We live in such a throwaway society,” said organizer Jill Padua, “and repair cafés help our neighbors get beloved items fixed while keeping items out of the landfill.”

Right to repair
For years, owners of stuff have had an uphill battle to fix it themselves, or to send broken things to local repair shops.

That may be changing.

New York State passed the first digital Right to Repair bill in 2022, and it was signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in December that year.

The Digital Fair Repair Act (S4104-A/A7006-B) requires makers of digital equipment “to make diagnostic and repair information for digital electronic parts and equipment available to independent repair providers and consumers.”

The New York law only applies if the parts and repair information is also available to repair providers and servicers authorized by the makers of the original equipment, according to a statement by Hochul.

In Pennsylvania, Senate Bill 744 also only takes aim at digital equipment. Manufacturers are called upon to make available to owners and independent repair providers, “on fair and reasonable terms,” the documentation, parts and tools needed to figure out what is wrong with digital equipment and to repair it.

The bill is still in committee.

Repair Café to the rescue

Even assuming the bill passes in PA, it and the NY law only cover digital equipment. What about your lamp?

Enter Repair Café.

You can get your item repaired and meet people in the community. You can watch and learn.

“And it’s free,” Padua pointed out, although donations are gratefully accepted.

There is a limit of two items per person.

Should you need a particular part—such as a zipper, thread or a fixture—you are asked to bring it.

Sometimes what you hope will get fixed becomes a consultation, but we are sure you will enjoy your interactions with our team of volunteers. We also encourage you to sit and learn with our fixers! It may help you in the future.

If it can be carried in, we’ll do our best to bring it back to life!

They cannot fix microwaves, anything gas-powered or anything labeled “smart.”

What they can fix
Listed below are those items for which the Repair Café has repair coaches this month.

But they are always looking for others.

Can you sharpen knives? Fix ceramics? Mend shoes? Have an expertise that would help others get something repaired?

Contact Repair Café Tusten at the email address below.

On September 16 (“So far!” Padua said) they can fix:

  • Things wooden—from chairs to your favorite wooden container
  • Things mechanical—Maybe that old vacuum can be fixed
  • Lamps/electrical—When cords are worn out or a switch won’t work
  • Small appliances—The nonfunctioning toaster or other item
  • Jewelry—From re-stringing beads to fixing your earrings
  • Sewing—Hand or machine sewing
  • Bike repair—Help your bike get back into tip-top shape
  • Instruments—String replacement and tuneups
  • Knitting and crocheting—For that holey sweater or unraveling scarf
  • Window screening—Bring unit, the proper screening and the spline (the cord that holds the screen in)

Other information

Attendees are asked to bring a donation for the Narrowsburg Food Pantry. Food should be in a can or box only.

The Tusten Town Hall is located at 210 Bridge St., under the Tusten Theater.

For more information, visit Repair Café Tusten on Facebook or email


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