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Repair, reuse, borrow and swap

Instead of throwing away an item that no longer works or buying a new one, see if you can repair it first or borrow from a community hub.

What repair, reuse, borrow or swap services are available in Merri-bek?

Brunswick Tool Library and Repair Café 
Basement carpark East Brunswick Village, 127 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East.

The Brunswick Tool Library and Repair Café offers a wide selection of tools for DIY projects including garden maintenance. You can become a member to access the library for a small fee. The group also runs regular repair cafes where expert volunteers assist residents to repair household items and avoid landfill.

Pascoe Vale Repair Cafe
First Sunday of every month from 10 am to 1 pm at 7 Prospect Street, Pascoe Vale.

Come along and meet our friendly volunteer repairers and join in the buzz. No bookings required, just come with your items in need of repairing and enjoy a cuppa while you wait for the mending magic to happen

Merri-bek Toy Library
(Two locations):

  • Pascoe Vale Neighbourhood Facility, 7 Prospect Street, Pascoe Vale
  • Scout Hall, 14a Jolley Street, Brunswick West

Merri-bek Toy Library offers a large range of toys for children of all ages. Through a yearly membership, residents can access individual toys plus party packs of toys for birthdays and other occasions.

Bike Shed @ CERES
CERES, cnr Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East

The Bike Shed is a hub for restoring broken bikes and keeping them out of landfill and upskilling the community in basic bike repair skills. The Bike Shed also stocks second hand parts and accepts donations of complete or incomplete bikes. The group is run by volunteers and located at CERES. Volunteers of all abilities are welcome.

Maker Community
215 Albion St, Brunswick

Maker Community is a not-for-profit organisation that allows members to access space and equipment for a range of different projects. Their facilities including a woodworking space, 3D printers, soldering stations and electronics. The group also runs DIY workshops for both adults and kids.

Food Swaps
Various locations around Merri-bek

Food Swaps occur at several locations within Merri-bek. Bring excess homegrown fresh produce like fruit, vegetables, eggs, seeds and seedlings to swap with others and avoid waste – the swaps usually do not use money as currency and instead rely on a fair exchange between growers.

Online buy, sell, swap or giveaway Facebook groups

The following Facebook groups allow Merri-bek residents to post items that they wish to sell, swap or giveaway that may have otherwise gone to landfill (rules for what posts are allowed vary between groups). Residents can also find second hand items rather than buying new.

Please remember that leaving items on the kerb outside of designated hard waste collection times is not permitted and you can be fined for illegal dumping.

It is not advised to leave any good quality items out for others to ‘glean’ during hard waste, but instead to donate them to charity or give them away online. Quality items left on the kerb during hard waste collection often do not get collected by members of the community, become weather damaged and end up in landfill.

How can I start a repair café, swap service or goods library in Merri-bek?

Merri-bek City Council welcomes community members wanting to establish a repair café, goods library or other initiative that reduces waste. Council offers a range of grants throughout the year for community projects which may help establish your idea.

Please email to see how council can assist you.