Illini Gadget Garage

Sponsored by Urbana Park District

    CHAMPAIGN, Ill -
  • We're advocating for product stewardship by fostering repair and reuse of devices. This is important because of the numerous natural and human resources invested in the production of electronics, particularly given how ubiquitous electronics are becoming (they're even found in greeting cards!). By keeping electronics in service longer, we're saving resources and helping stem the tide of e-waste. We help raise consumer awareness of the sustainability issues tied to products they use.
  • We're helping people become comfortable with the ideas of repair and reuse. There are perceptions, particularly with electronics, that repair is too expensive or too complex to be bothered with. People see it as cheaper, easier, even safer to replace devices rather than repair them. We're teaching people that repair is approachable and attainable. It's a smart choice that doesn't require you to be a technical whiz. We're empowering people to take action on their own, as well as raising awareness of local businesses that provide repair services and parts.
  • We're educating people about responsible reuse and recycling options in the community. There's a landfill ban on 17 different commonly used electronics in IL, but people are largely aware of this. Even if they are, there's a lot of confusion surrounding how to properly dispose of broken or unwanted electronics. We're giving people the information they need to properly manage electronics at their end of life.
  • What sets us apart is that we are not a repair shop. People cannot simply drop off an item and expect it to be fixed when they pick it up. The collaborative repair aspect of this project makes it unique, and is important not only in terms of empowering consumers to take control of maintenance and troubleshooting of objects they own, but also in terms of encouraging people to think about how design and manufacturing decisions can contribute to product durability and waste generation.

America Recycles Day—It’s Electric!
Sat, Nov 19, 11am-3pm
Anita Purves Nature Center

Join our FREE recycling celebration! 
• Explore repurposed creations made by local artists and make your own.
• Play games, meet community recycling representatives, and take home free goodies.
• Staff from the I.D.E.A. Store will lead a recycled electronics craft.
• The following items will be accepted for recycling at the event: ink jet cartridges, cell phones and household batteries.

Make your own creation from reused or repurposed materials at home before the event, and enter to win an award in the third annual Creative Reuse Competition:
• Purpose: Creations should be useful and serve a purpose.
• Materials: All creations should be composed of at least 90% recycled content. Participants must state where/how the materials were obtained.
• Size: The creation should be no heavier than 10 pounds and no bigger than 3’L x 3’W x 3’H.
• Submission: Creations may be dropped-off at the Anita Purves Nature Center from 3-5pm on Friday, Nov. 18 or from 9am-2pm on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. All participants must turn-in a completed Entry Form with their creation (available at drop-off). Judging will take place from 2-2:30pm on Sat, Nov. 19; winners will be announced from 2:30pm.


Small electronics need repair? The Gadget Garage will be on-hand! Work together with their volunteers to troubleshoot, diagnose, or repair your electronics at this collaborative pop-up. Fill out the Diagnostic Form in advance to secure your troubleshooting session during America Recycles Day: Repairing technology is sustainable and lessens the overall community carbon footprint by keeping tech out of landfills.

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