Frequently asked questions

WHAT'S HAPPENING with BRIGHT SPARKS?

Erin wrote an article, Lessons from Bright Sparks, about our pilot, what's next and how you can help. Read all about it here!

The short version:
The pilot finished in April 2016 and was far more popular than we anticipated, which also made it more expensive to run. We're currently working on Bright Sparks 2.0, and we need space (800+ square metres) and funding to get started. The quicker we can sort out space and funding, the quicker we can roll out Bright Sparks 2.0.

If you know of an unloved empty space, get in touch!
If you want to stay in the loop, sign up for our newsletter.

 

YOUR WEBSITE SAYS YOU'RE NO LONGER TAKING DONATIONS OR REPAIRS. WILL YOU PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE TAKE MY APPLIANCES?

No, sorry.

 

When will you be up and running again?

We don't know - it's dependent on finding a new location and securing funding. Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to know when it happens. Or read our story and get involved to help speed up the process!

 

MY APPLIANCE is broken. WHERE CAN I GET IT REPAIRED?

For best results head to Google, enter the item type and add the words 'repair' and 'Melbourne' to your search, e.g. toaster repair Melbourne. This works for all kinds of things, not just electrical items.

For audio speaker repairs, try Total Recoil in Thornbury.
For other audio equipment, try Electronics Repair Shop or Round Again in Coburg.
For microwaves, televisions and other home entertainment devices, try The Video People in Ringwood.
For computer repairs, try Geeks2U

If you know the manufacturer of your appliance, you can contact them directly and ask for a referral to an authorised repairer. (Manufacturers often list this information on their websites.)

Note: we did not keep any spare parts from the pilot - everything that wasn't reused or repaired was recycled. We've occasionally had luck finding spare parts on eBay. If you know the name and model number of the part you're after, that will help you in your search. (This information can often be found in the instruction manual.)

 

What can I do with my unwanted appliances?

If your appliances work and are in good condition: reuse is the most environmentally friendly option. Try selling or giving them away on eBay, Gumtree, Ziilch, Facebook groups or garage sales. The Eastern Emergency Relief Network accepts whitegoods and small appliances in working order.

NOTE: If in doubt whether your local charity accepts electrical items, ask, or check their website! We can't stress this part enough --> If you sneakily donate a small appliance to a charity that doesn't accept them, it will most likely end up in landfill, and the charity will have to pay to dispose of it. If you donate a broken small appliance to a charity, it will most likely end up in landfill, and the charity will have to pay to dispose of it.

If your appliances are broken: get them professionally repaired. See the previous question for details.

If items are damaged, unrepairable or obsolete: recycle them. This is easier said than done! Electrical items are complex and dangerous to break down, and can't be recycled in the normal recycling bin. These are a few options:

 

Are you still accepting financial donations?

Gladly! Visit our Donate page for details.

 

I'D LIKE TO VOLUNTEER WITH BRIGHT SPARKS. HOW DO I SIGN UP?

Our pilot program finished in April 2016 and we closed our Hadfield workshop. We're currently planning Bright Sparks 2.0. To find out how you can help, read our story here and get in touch.

 

I WANT TO DO A STUDENT PROJECT ON BRIGHT SPARKS. HOW DO I START?

Awesome! We'd love to work with students and get them involved in future. Please note that we are not currently trading (see above) and cannot assist you with reusing, repairing or recycling e-waste - only sharing information or developing future proejcts. If you're a student or education professional and want to discuss a project, get in touch.

P.S. If Erin was a student right now, she would be trying to set up an electronics-repair workshop at her school like these girls in the United States.