The Fixy project

Empowering and connecting rural communities through reuse and repair

Making electrical reuse and repair the norm

Funded through the second round of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund in 2022, the Fixy project promoted the repair and refurbishment of electronic items which might otherwise end up in the waste stream. The project was led by leading consultancy Resource Futures and engaged local community groups to build awareness and discover best practice concepts to share with other organisations who would like to set up something similar in other areas in the UK.

Barriers to electrical recycling

In 2019, the world generated 53.6 million metric tonnes of e-waste – appliances, mobile phones, laptops; with 1.6 million tonnes of this arising from the United Kingdom (The Global E-waste Monitor 2020). Through its pilot scheme, Fixy found a range of barriers preventing the mainstream repair and reuse or electrical items, induding perceived complexity, low confidence levels, costs of spare parts and repair services and concerns about data security. In rural areas, these challenges are amplified, as communities have low population densities and poor access to facilities that enable reuse and repair.

Limited facilities and resources

Fixy found that there was an existent network of active reuse and repair community organisations across the country, however, there was limited networking between them, and many faced a shortage of necessary skills, transportation, space, or capacity.

Resource Future’s research found that in rural areas with low population and patchy public transport, many groups particularly struggled to transport items to and from the correct point for repair.



Promising results

During the Fixy pilot scheme, which ran from May to December 2022, Fixy spoke to nearly 2,800 people across 81 events. 83 percent said they felt ‘very or quite committed’ to repair activities going forwards since encountering Fixy. 68 percent said they were ‘more likely’ to buy refurbished or second-hand items, and 61 percent said they ‘felt better informed’ about where and how to get items repaired. The Fixy van also collected unwanted smart tech and during the pilot period and aided the donation of 1,433 items of smart tech weighing 3,665kg.

What’s next for Fixy?

Plans for the future of Fixy include working with younger audiences in Somerset through apprenticeships and electrical skills training, and working with schools and groups such as scouts and guides.

The project is continuously increasing the volunteer pool and number of repair groups in Somerset, forging links to wider community group networks, and supporting with publicity and promotion so groups can focus on the practicalities of mending broken items.



“We are delighted to see the positive impact of the Fixy initiative, which is taking important steps towards making repair and reuse of electrical items more accessible and mainstream. We are proud to have supported the project through the Ecosurety Exploration Fund and we are pleased to see the release of its impact report, which highlights the significant progress made over the past year. We look forward to seeing Fixy continue to make a difference in Somerset and beyond.” Gareth Morton Photo Gareth Morton Discovery Manager at Ecosurety
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Read the full Impact Report 2022-2023

The Fixy project’s 2022-23 Impact Report shares results from its pilot and includes set-up details, project costs, learnings, and best practice concepts. The report includes tips for those with lower or no budget availability. The report aims to share key findings and know-how for groups and organisations in other areas of the UK who would like to set up something similar, whether on a large or small scale.
Read the Impact Report
"Fixy provides an ideal tool to start new conversations and has proved itself capable of achieving high level impact in raising repair and reuse knowledge across a range of audiences. The Fixy Impact Report communicates set up details and best practice concepts and includes tips for projects with low or no budget availability. By sharing insights, the Fixy project aims to make the repair and reuse of electricals more accessible and take it from ‘niche to norm" Sarah Hargreaves Photo Sarah Hargreaves Behaviour Change Lead at Resource Futures

About Resource Futures

Founded in 2006, Resource Futures is an employee-owned, independent environmental consultancy with a 30-year heritage in the waste and resources industry. Our vision is to create a sustainable world with an approach that helps to ensure we have a positive impact on the way resources are used on the planet.
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Enabling tomorrow's solutions

The Fixy project was funded by the Ecosurety Exploration Fund which is investing £1million in projects that aim to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, batteries or WEEE through innovation or research in the UK. The fund is the first such opportunity to be launched by a UK compliance scheme. It builds on Ecosurety’s experience in supporting innovative projects and new technologies across the waste and recycling sector.
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