Nightly News   |  August 21, 2013

Developing an inner Mr. Fix-It

The Community Glue Workshop is bringing people together to repair their possessions and empowering people to fix their broken items -- instead of throwing them into a landfill. NBC’s Kevin Tibbles reports.

Share This:

This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight, a story for anyone who's ever had a broken toaster or a busted lamp. tossing those items in the trash or paying someone else a lot of money to fix them aren't the only options. turns out fixing them yourself may be easier you think. in fact, the idea has sparked an entire movement. as we hear now from nbc's kevin tibbles in chicago .

>> reporter: when it comes to fixing things, it seems we're just not that handy anymore. that's why a new grassroots movement is catching on at places like chicago 's kitchen sink cafe.

>> you don't need to replace everything that's broken, no matter what that is.

>> if the this thing can be fixed --

>> reporter: a once a month pilgrimage, everything from broken toasters and bikes to children's chairs and toys are all give an new lease on life by volunteer mr. and mrs. fixit.

>> many things that break are very easy to fix. just open it up and see how it works and what isn't working.

>> reporter: they call themselves community glue, inspired by similar gatherings around the country.

>> my parents used everything and had it repaired and reused it, and we didn't throw away anything.

>> reporter: marie and 8-year-old son tristan have come bearing his broken robot.

>> i get really disturbed when i think about plastic things that go into landfills.

>> reporter: our insatiable desire for the newest and fast es means we don't fix things, we junk them. every second in america four mobile devices are tossed. that's more than 150 million every year. wow. but this man is making good money off consumers' bad habits. people just toss it.

>> almost new computer, just throw it. they don't care.

>> reporter: mark's company, ava electronics recycling collects 150,000 pounds of e-waste a month, repairing and reselling it or stripping it and melting it down.

>> there's physical gold inside of here.

>> reporter: indeed, one man's trash is another man's or boy's treasure.

>> it's like you need a special school or something.

>> reporter: a new part for tristan's robot is fashioned on a 3d printer and a patch is sewn to fit where one eye was missing.

>> everybody who comes here especially to have a small fixed, it's like a small miracle has been performed.

>> reporter: every once in a while , everything old can be new again. kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago .