New 'clinic' in the Twin Cities wants malfunctioning home appliances

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At Dakota County's free "clinic" later this month, the "doctors" are local volunteers, and the patients? Household items that just need a little TLC.

The county's Fix-It Clinic will let residents come by with their malfunctioning goods for the first time at noon Saturday, Jan. 23 at Thompson Park in West St. Paul, according to a Facebook post. Two other events are planned in February and March.

According to Sun This Week, it's hoped that fixing broken objects will cut down the amount of trash being sent to landfills, and in the process, teach residents a thing or two about at-home troubleshooting and DIY know-how.

In a piece about a Fix-It Clinic that took place in Coon Rapids almost a year ago, MPR News says the items that were brought in ranged from toasters and coffee makers to lamps, "snapped off broom handles," and even computers.

Even clothes are evidently okay, too; a recent post from the Dakota Co. Fix-It Clinic lightheartedly mentions fixing holes in socks and sweaters.

MPR says volunteers at the Coon Rapids clinic were able to keep local landfills a little less full, having fixed 200 pounds' worth of "stuff"; only 88 pounds' worth of items were beyond repair.

The clinics appear to be catching on in Minnesota and elsewhere. According to the Pioneer Press, Hennepin County (also in the Twin Cities) launched their community Fix-It service in 2012, after getting the idea from a New York Times article about so-called "repair cafes" in the Netherlands.

Now, Ramsey County has offered a clinic, as has Anoka County.

Dakota County's next two Fix-It events are on Feb. 20 and March 19, both at noon on Saturdays.

A Facebook comment from "Fix-It Dakota County" indicates the service is available only to Dakota County residents.

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