News | 2 October 2023
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Waste Minimisation Seed Fund making a difference in the community

Looking for a way to get your green start-up off the ground or expand on an initiative? Follow in the footsteps of RepairED, who used the Waste Minimisation Seed Fund to run workshops where they have fixed over 360 items, saving 452kg of waste from the landfill.

A person repairing an item of clothing.

The Waste Minimisation Seed Fund is open until 26 October, with up to $25,000 available for waste-busting projects that will help Pōneke reduce waste and protect our resources and taiao (environment).  

Previous recipients include the Sustainability Trust, who have received funding to help launch and develop RepairED – a programme that aims to strengthen the network of repairers in Wellington and upskill communities in the repair of clothing, textiles, small appliances, and electronics.  

Since 2021 the Sustainability Trust have coordinated around 50 skilled volunteers and worked with organisations like Hopper Home, MakeRoom, Tip Shop, and Repair Cafe Aotearoa to run workshops attended by nearly 400 people.  

368 items were fixed, like heaters, lamps, speakers and treasured garments.  

By repairing items, 2200kg of CO2 emissions were prevented, which is the equivalent of watching 1905 days of TV non-stop, or 452kg of waste prevented. 

Kim Tabrum from the Sustainability Trust says the programme has had great feedback from the community.  

“The community has been so positive. The workshops have been a place to be social and learn while folks’ much-loved items are repaired”. 

A pair of hands fixing a tool on a bench.

A few things that have been brought into the workshops: 

  • A Toaster, which had originally been brought to a shop and deemed unrepairable. 
  • A quick repair done on a hoodie.  
  • A heater that couldn’t be fixed because it had been designed not to be openable. A good thing to check for when people try to purchase a new sustainable heater. 
  • Tools like chainsaws and gardening tools. 
  • A beloved teddy bear that had lived many lives. 
  • An old suitcase.
  • Jeans that had been broken since they were bought second-hand.  

 Repairing rather than buying new is becoming increasingly important as Wellington moves towards a circular economy. 

 Extending the life of the things we already have saves emissions, resources and waste to landfill, says Kim.  

“It’s a great way for individuals to take climate action – and learn new skills along the way.”  

The next repair event, Just Sew, is 7 October at the Sustainability Trust. Just Sew sessions are held on the first Saturday of every month, from 1pm to 4pm.

For more information about funding see our website.