From trash to treasure: Londoners threw away £1.8 billion worth of items last year that could have been repaired

Repair Week workshops and hacks 20-26 March 2023 set to help people save money and waste less  

  • Over half (54%) of Londoners are worried about the cost of replacing broken or damaged items this year
  • 60% of Londoners have electrical items at home in need of repair
  • 55% of Londoners have furniture in need of repair
  • 34% of Londoners have at least one bike at home in need of repair
  • Over two thirds (67%) of Londoners would like to learn to repair things to save money
  • Nearly half of Londoners (48%) have learned how to repair a household item via an online video or a workshop in the past year and 66% get a sense of achievement from repairing things themselves

Ahead of London’s third Repair Week, new research commissioned by London Recycles and conducted by Censuswide has found that on average Londoners threw away an estimated £258 of stuff they think could have been repaired in the last year – that’s an estimated £1.8 billion worth of repairable items across London.

With an estimated 25 million items of textiles, 10 million bikes, 19 million electrical items, 16 million items of furniture and 14 million bathroom fixtures or fittings** in need of repair in London homes, there are some massive savings to be made from learning a few basic repairs. Luckily Repair Week is here to help Londoners join the trend to mend.

Supported this year by partner Suez, Repair Week is an annual celebration of handiness, featuring repair workshops, super helpful Repair Hack films, expert advice and a directory of repair services – all of which will help people gain and grow their repairing skills, save money and help fight climate change.

Partners and brands running workshops this year include Beyond Retro, the Royal College of Art, Hackney’s Castle Climbing Centre and Vivobarefoot. For a full list of workshops, repair hacks and a directory of professional repair services follow the links below:

Bigger and better than ever this year, Repair Week is expanding for the first time to Manchester. Waste management company, SUEZ, and Recycle for Greater Manchester will be joining in, promoting repair skills across the city and opening the doors to their Renew Hub, where hundreds of tonnes of pre-loved items which would otherwise have gone to waste are brought for repair and resale – with all profits going back to the local community.

Rebecca Child, Repair Week campaign manager, said:“We are really excited to see so many more brands and organisations get involved this year and delighted to have Manchester join us. Hopefully this is the start of a national Repair Week. With the cost of living and climate crises, it makes sense that there is a growing appetite for learning to repair and upcycle rather than throw away. There are lots of free events across the capital, and a lovely community spirit to be found in local repair workshops if you can get to one. We also have plenty of free advice and hacks on our website if you can’t get to a workshop in person.”

Dr Adam Read, Chief External Affairs and Sustainability Officer at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said:“We’re delighted to be partnering with Repair Week this year to highlight the importance of repair, giving people practical skills and encouraging greater use of existing repair services. Repair is a fundamental element of the circular economy and a key component in our fight against climate change. Repair Week brings together businesses, boroughs and communities to inspire and enable people to repair more items that would usually be thrown away. We’re hoping to prove that much of what people think they should throw out can easily be repaired and have a second life.”

To find out more about Repair Week, see what’s happening and for more information, visit: