Borrow and repair to keep items in circulation for longer

The circular economy - how you can keep items in use for longer by borrowing and repairing

What is the The Circular Economy?

The circular economy is a concept which aims to keep resources in use for much longer, extracting the maximum value from them whilst in use, and ensuring that they can be recovered and recycled easily at the end of life.

In this video, Councillor Dr Pete Sudbury explains more about what it is and what changes we can incorporate into everyday life.

Community Action Groups – and the vital role they play

There are over 100 Community Action Groups (CAGs), working across Oxfordshire to make it a safer, fairer, greener, more sustainable place to live, work and visit.

There are many different groups, taking on issues including waste, transport, food, energy, biodiversity and social justice.

CAG groups continue to avert waste in Oxfordshire by encouraging reuse, repair and upcycling of materials and household items (helping us move to a circular and sharing economy).

Actions include:

  • Developed and expanded the Libraries of Things (to borrow rather than buy) network in Oxfordshire
  • Running Repair Cafés (to repair rather than throw away)
  • Partnered with initiatives such as ‘Getting Oxfordshire Online’ to tackle digital exclusion  
  • Swap shop events
  • Orinoco Scrapstore (found in Oxford and Banbury)
  • Cherwell Collective who run the Oxford Party Library
  • Oxford Wood Recycling – who divert wood waste by selling it for reuse or recycling it.

Find their report and more about the engagements they have had in Oxfordshire through activities and events, what they have accomplished and what’s to come!

What is a library of things and how can I borrow an item?

A library of things is where you can borrow items you need for a one-off occasion, rather than buy something which sits in the cupboard gathering dust!

Benefiting you by saving money and space, all while lowering our environmental impact together.

Each of the library of things has its own website and online catalogue of items available to borrow. You can borrow items such as tools for a DIY or home maintenance project, camping equipment or party accessories, or even test the kit before committing to a new hobby!

You can book it in advance and pay a small fee to borrow it for a set amount of time

Where are they?

  • Bicester Green - 16 Sheep Street, Bicester, OX26 6TB
  • Cherwell Collective’s Oxford Party Library  - Exeter Hall, Kidlington, OX5 1AB
  • Oxford Wood Recycling's Library of Tools (mostly tools for woodwork) - Suffolk Way, Abingdon, OX14 5JX
  • SHARE Oxford - Makespace Oxford, 1 Aristotle Lane, Oxford, OX2 6TP
  • Sustainable Wantage - The Mix Community Space, 15 Mill Street, Wantage, OX12 9AB

More information can be found on CAG Oxfordshire’s website.

How can I repair an item rather than buy new? (Repair Over Replace)

Repairing an item helps to keep it going for longer, rather than buying new. You could find a handyman, visit a shop on the high street or visit a Repair Café.

Repair Cafés are run across Oxfordshire by our fantastic network of Community Action Groups (CAG). They can repair a whole array of items from small electricals, bicycles, and clothing, or help sharpen your tools.

You can learn something new, experience joy within your local community and importantly repair, rather than replace.

Councillor Dr Pete Sudbury, Cabinet Member for Climate Change Delivery and Environment said: "Our Community Action Groups are a brilliant network, including volunteer groups who run and help residents to repair items such as small electricals, clothing, bikes and sharpening tools at Repair Cafés across Oxfordshire. These normally run alongside other activities where you can pick up coffee and cake. Before you throw an old item away because it's broken, find your local Repair Cafe by searching online for 'Repair Cafe Oxfordshire' and pop into your local Repair Cafe first, and you could save yourself the cost of buying a replacement."