25 November 2015

Thank you Bright Sparks for fixing my blender and keeping it out of landfill

My blender broke. It was purchased from Kmart way back when I moved in with the Builder. It is glass, sturdy and has whizzed up many a soup…and the odd green smoothie.

I felt smelt its demise over winter. Each time I put my soup into the jug, turned the dial up and hit the button, there would be a faint burnt smell. I ignored it, until the thing would not turn on one day.

Once upon a time, many moons ago, this blender would have gone into the bin OR I would have done something sneaky and dropped said item into a charity bin “expecting” someone to fix it. They don’t. Don’t do this. Most of the larger charity stores don’t take electrical goods, working or not.

Enter Bright Sparks, a not-for-profit enterprise that endeavors to keep small appliances out of landfill. Right up this zero waste girls alley.

Hoo-rah!

Bright Sparks aims to:
  • Encourage reuse by building a market for pre-loved electrical items
  • Extend appliance lifecycles through repairs and upcycling
  • Recycle what cannot be reused or repaired, ensuring maximum landfill avoidance
  • Influence consumer disposal and purchasing behaviours through education and engagement

So off I went, blender tucked under my arm and trained/bused it over to their store.

My blender was looked over, my name was taken, asked whether I needed it urgently (I said no) then I was told that I’d receive a call to let me know the prognoses of my blender. 6 days later, I got a call to say the motor had burnt out and a part would need to be replaced. I gave my blessing, then waited for the next call that all had worked.

Thank you Bright Sparks for fixing my blender and keeping it out of landfill

Thank you Bright Sparks for fixing my blender and keeping it out of landfill

Well, all worked. And it’s back in my kitchen, blending and not smelling like burnt rubber.

Total cost? $35. If it could not have been fixed, there would have been NO fee.

Bright Sparks has a qualified electrician on staff. Everything about the service was professional. I am pretty sure I talked the Builders ear off about how enjoyable my experience with Bright Sparks was. Supporting individuals and community really does give me the warm and fuzzies, that and keeping electrical appliances out of landfill. Did you know that electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in Australia?

The good news is, if you would like to donate your unwanted items, there are now donation points available around the city of Melbourne. Each drop off point allows you and me, to sort into working and broken. This helps the staff know what they need to fix and what can be sold on. If goods cannot be fixed and sold on, they will be recycled.

Melbourne Drop Off Point Locations:

Brunswick: Brunswick Town Hall
Camberwell: Boroondara customer service centre
Camberwell: Boroondara recycling and waste centre
Coburg: Moreland Civic Centre
Coburg North: Newlands Community House
Collingwood: Collingwood Town Hall
Epping: Whittlesea works depot
Fitzroy North: Holden Street Neighbourhood House
Hadfield: Bright Sparks HQ
Mill Park: Mill Park Library
Northcote: Northcote Library
Reservoir: Darebin Resource Recovery Centre
Richmond: Richmond Library
South Morang: Whittlesea Civic Centre
Thomastown: Thomastown Library

If you have an item you want repaired, you will need to go to their workshop in Hadfield. And if you are like me, without a car, you can walk from Fawkner Station (through the cemetery) or get a bus from Glenroy station.

Thank you Bright Sparks for fixing my blender and keeping it out of landfill

Repair works are guaranteed for 90 days. The website has a list of items accepted for donation and repair.

They are also selling items on site too. I saw a hair curler, cute lamps and fans; just in time for an Aussie summer.


Do you have repair services for small electrical goods in your area? How do you deal with broken electronics?



This was an independent review. Bright Sparks has not asked me for a review or to write a post. I am only sharing what I think to be a genuine and needed service.
  1. How do I deal with small appliance repairs? I give them to my husband. That may sound rather ridiculous, but his original trade out of school was as an electronics technician and he can do it all. Back before TVs and VCRs were disposable items, he repaired them. We have yet to purchase a microwave or TV as we were always able to have him repair something no one else wanted to have fixed- even convection microwaves.

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    1. You are lucky Alison. I was talking to the owner of Bright Sparks, and she told me that it is dying skills repairing small electrical goods.

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  2. Hi Erin,

    I saw your segment on The Project the other night and I wanted to commend you on your 'waste-free' life. Over the past year, I have been more and more drawn to the idea of minimalist, simple, and mindful living. I have the book, 'A Plastic Free Life' by Beth Terry which is full of great information, however, I love that you are in Australia which makes it easier to relate to how things are done. I am now following you on Instagram and Facebook too. Thanks for being such a wonderful inspiration.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Serena, thanks for the kind words. Beth Terry's book is fantastic. I did not read it until a couple months ago and wish I had it at the start of my journey. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to get in contact. All the best :)

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