Household items being repaired at the Renew Hub in Trafford Park

Greater Manchester calls for repair revolution to help residents save money by repairing more items

  • Recycle for Greater Manchester calls for repair revolution to help residents save money by repairing more household items
  • Call comes as survey finds more than £1.2bn could be wasted every year on disposing and replacing items that could be repaired
  • #RepairWeekGM (11-17 March 2024) aims to empower residents to learn where they can repair their old items, helping to cut costs and protect the environment

Greater Manchester is marking Repair Week 2024 with a rallying call for a ‘repair revolution’, as an eye-opening new survey reveals that more than £1.2bn is potentially lost every year on throwing away and replacing household items that could be repaired.

Research commissioned by Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) found that last year Greater Manchester residents threw away an estimated £417 million* worth of items that could have been repaired instead. A further £809 million* was then spent on replacing the damaged or broken items.

The figures show that, on average, residents have five broken or damaged household items that they believe could be repaired. The most common things reportedly thrown away are clothes, kettles, hairdryers, headphones and toasters.

Through a series of events and workshops across Greater Manchester this week (11-17 March), R4GM will be shining a spotlight on the impact of waste and aims to empower residents to learn how they can save money – and protect the environment - by repairing the items many instinctively throw away.  A number of community organisations working across our city-region will be showcasing their work in supporting residents to repair too.

Repair Week aims to tackle the financial and environmental impacts of this waste head-on, and highlight the ways that people across Greater Manchester can repair items or pass them on to be rehomed and resold.

Cllr Tom Ross, GMCA’s lead for the Green City-Region and Waste and Recycling, said:

“Greater Manchester is home to so many repair heroes, and we’re proud to shine a spotlight on the brilliant work they do. I’m delighted to see community groups from across the city-region getting involved with Repair Week to inspire residents to keep their household items in use for as long as possible, and to demonstrate the many options for repair on peoples’ doorsteps.

“We all find it frustrating when some of the goods we buy cost more to repair than replace – but there are so many household items that can be given a new lease of life at low cost. That’s why, through fantastic resources like the Renew Hub and Renew Shops, we want to support people to learn how to save money, or get a bargain on good-quality items that have been repaired, especially during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.

“I hope that this year’s Repair Week can kickstart a repair revolution in Greater Manchester that will not just save people money, but also help us cut down on what we throw away and protect the environment. It’s a great way for residents to get in touch with repair events in their local area.”

This year, Repair Week offers residents the chance to speak to our repair and reuse experts at the Renew Hub in Trafford, and to see what goes in to repairing common household items such as bikes, electricals, upholstery and more.

There will be a guided tour of the Renew Hub in Trafford Park on Monday (March 11) to go behind the scenes and get an understanding of waste and recycling in Greater Manchester. Then on Tuesday (March 12) at the Hub a Repair Fair is being held where people can learn from the experts to see how they repair and refurbish items.

The Renew Hub and Shops have raised more than £1m for charity by repairing goods donated by Greater Manchester residents, showing what can be possible by repairing rather than discarding items ranging from bikes to white goods.

Money raised through the Renew Hub and Renew Shops also helps support projects through the Recycle for Greater Manchester Community Fund, including community-led activities and programmes such as repair cafes and textile upcycling courses – meaning residents can find support with repairing their household items all year round. These community groups are also being showcased during Repair Week, giving residents the opportunity to discover long term repair support in their local area.

As well as workshops and other repair sessions, there are a number of free videos on the Recycle for Greater Manchester website offering practical guidance for repairing many household items.

A list of the activities and events taking place, including at the Renew Hub, can be found here.

Notes to editors

Censuswide Polling

Polling of 1,000 Greater Manchester residents 18+carried out by Censuswide on behalf of R4GM  12.02.2024 – 14.02.2024. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society and follows the MRS code of conduct and ESOMAR principles. Censuswide is also a member of the British Polling Council.

* Extrapolations of the data to represent the whole of Greater Manchester for value of damaged or broken item(s) which could have been repaired. The data was weighted to 2021 ONS Midyear estimates, 18 + population figures for Greater Manchester:2,215,143.

About Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM)

R4GM work with local councils in Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford, to inspire and encourage the residents of Greater Manchester to manage their waste responsibly, helping residents to see the value of waste and the real benefits that can be achieved by wasting less and recycling right.

Article Published: 11/03/2024 12:47 PM