Learn To Repair Before You Recycle It - And Not Throw It

2019-10-16 09:53

"I have no tools for it”, "I don’t have proper space to repair my broken chair”, "I don’t know how to do it”. These are the top three excuses we hear from people when we asked “Why don’t you try to repair your broken items?”. And these were part of the reasons the KakiRepair Movement was born two years ago. The purpose of this movement is to encourage Malaysians to reduce disposal of items by at least trying to understand what is wrong with it and learning to repair it or at the very least upcycle or recycle. 


Participants at the MakerLab

This movement, founded in July 2017 by KakiDIY’s founder, Johnson Lam, aligned to the communities’ core value of Reuse, Reduce and Recycle. Since then, over 30 sessions were hosted by KakiDIY and it’s community, fixing over RM 80,000 worth of products and impacting over 2000 participants. The entire movement is Not-For-Profit. Donations of tools, parts and cash are welcomed to keep the movement afloat, however the key driver in this movement are the volunteers and location sponsors. Anyone can host a KakiRepair event; just prepare a space for at least five people, a table, some basic tools and blast out using our social media platforms. Our KakiRepair event template will assist to ensure that there are enough volunteers to assist with diagnosis and teaching participants to repair their broken items. The current platform is on Facebook and Eventbrite. 

Founder, Johnson Lam, at the Launch of Kaki Repair in July 2017

The most common items brought in for repair are household fans, hair dryers, power adapters and rice cookers/bread makers. It is quite interesting knowing many of the participants love to bake their own bread at home! That brings us to a common failure in electrical appliances in Malaysia. Due to the humidity and temperature of the Malaysian weather, appliances tend to overheat especially those that generate heat. In electrical appliances, there is usually an electrical fuse that protects the appliance from electrical surges; in appliances that generates heat, it will come with a Thermal Fuse that will break the circuit. Check if the Thermal Fuse is working, if not, replacing that would certainly fix the issue. 


Participants at the Outdoor Repair

Electrical and electronic appliances are not the only things the folks at the KakiRepair movement repairs, the movement accepts everything that participants are able to carry to the event. Furnitures, fabric items, toys, and shoes were also some of the items successfully fixed. 


For the things that could not be repaired, KakiRepair educates on how the items can be recycled instead of throwing them away. From the post event surveys, although only 30% of the items are able to be fixed, 100% of the participants learnt something new.



To know more about KakiRepair, just visit our website and to join, check out KakiDIY’s Facebook page or post your issues in our Facebook Group.