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Repair Cafe in Tucson helps locals get electronics and other items fixed for free

Local group offers repairs to build a better community
Tucson Repair Cafe volunteer
Posted at 9:40 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 10:08:39-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A local group is taking in old broken-down items and giving them, a new life and they’re doing it for free. Tucson Repair Cafe co-founder Rocky Baier says the project was started last November and it's been going strong ever since.

"I was a journalism student, and I had a lot of climate anxiety and that led me to start getting involved with sustainable Tucson. When we started, we only had about five people now at the events we have 30 people,” Baier said.

Baier says her education and work with Sustainable Tucson gave her the drive to make it happen. Meanwhile, there are thousands of repair cafes all around the world and now it's the first of its kind in Tucson.

"The goal is to give people a free place to have their items repaired and the goal is to reduce waste, reduce consumption, and stop the consumption of buying something having it break and throwing it away and buying something new," Baier said.

Electronics, clothing and furniture you name it and teams work together to try to fix what you bring by. The group is focused on helping people save money while saving the environment at the same time. Volunteers and visitors go to locations like Xero-Craft to set up shop and do the work, so far about 100 people have had repairs done.

“One of my favorite parts is that it's of community and its fun and you can meet people and talk to people,” Baier said.

Tucson Repair Cafe is currently working to get a non-profit status, and if you do have an item to fix, remember not everything can be fixed.

"We will always try to repair an item, but sometimes we can’t repair items, somethings they have things that are dangerous. Sometimes people bring in items that are locked behind proprietary software, hardware and those companies don’t like to share how they make their products,” Baier said.

Events are held on the second Saturday of every month. Right now, there are 15 volunteers who donate their time, and more are always needed to help plan events and do repairs.

"For me it’s really satisfying because I’m always looking at ways to save the environment,” Baier said.


Shawndrea Thomas is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. Shawndrea is living her dream as a journalist who’s passionate about making a difference. Share your story ideas and important issues with Shawndrea by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.