Now introducing a fourth “R”… Repair!

Today’s blog post comes from our Hotline Program Assistant, Barbara Lopez.  Barbara can say the “Three R’s” in her sleep, and sometimes does after a busy dayBLopez_team on the ol’ hotline.


By now, you are likely familiar with the 3 R’s of waste reduction: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. But do you know about the other R in waste reduction? Choosing to repair slightly broken or damaged items is just one other way to decrease the amount of trash that ends up in our landfills. Repairing items is becoming more popular with DIY shows and websites like Pinterest that give easy-to-follow instructions to repair many household items. It is easy to see why more people are choosing to repair their items once you know the benefits of it. Here are just a few of the benefits when you choose to repair:


  • Keeps items out of landfills– Choosing to repair slightly broken or damaged items, instead of replacing them, keeps items that still have a useable life out of landfills. Often times, just a quick fix can extend the life of household items.
  • Saves energy– Repairing an item, rather than replacing it, saves energy (and resources) that would be required to make something new. Even if an item can be recycled, such as a refrigerator or computer, energy is still saved by choosing to repair.
  • Saves money– For some items, it is less expensive to fix them than to replace them. If a fix isn’t too difficult, you can likely find a how-to online and fix the item yourself, leaving you to only pay for materials. When deciding to either repair or replace an item, most experts say to use the 50-percent rule: if the repair cost is estimated to be 50 percent or less than the amount you paid for the item, it is usually better to repair it.


Let's not add on to trash in the landfills- repair your items instead!
Let’s not add on to trash in the landfills- repair your items instead!

Many of you have used our recycling database to find locations to recycle or properly dispose of household hazardous waste. In order to step up our waste reduction efforts, I Love A Clean San Diego is introducing a new repair database to With this addition, residents will be able to search for a repair shop near them, shops that service anything from a refrigerator to a surfboard. If you have a unique repair business that you would like added to our database, feel free to shoot me an email and we’d be happy to add it.


AND Repair!
AND Repair!

Don’t forget to check out for your recycling and repair needs!



2 thoughts on “Now introducing a fourth “R”… Repair!

  1. It’s amazing how quickly society has forgotten “repair” is an option.

    On one hand, there are fewer “handymen/women” who can repair general household items, but all you have to do is search on YouTube for explanations on how to repair almost anything.

    One thing that really bugs me is computer printers. When they break down, we’re told it is cheaper to buy a brand new printer than to get it repaired. Why do we accept that?

    – John Watson, Waste Diversion Education Coordinator, Halton Region
    BLOG; TWITTER @HaltonRecycles

  2. Hi John-

    Thanks for checking out our blog and for the feedback! Our repair website will be up and running by early October- that will be a great resource for people to use when repair is, in fact, an option (including those computer printers!). We’d love to hear what you think once the site is up and if you have any additional thoughts- these resources are designed for you and other environmentally-minded San Diegans and we want to make sure they are as helpful as possible.


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