International news agency Bloomberg* reported that a Birmingham project designed to divert unwanted items from landfill has over the last two years reused goods equivalent to the weight of an Airbus A340 aircraft.
Richard Beard (CEO of the Jericho Foundation) and Cllr James McKay (then Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City) at the launch of the ReUsers in 2013.
The ReUsers, a social enterprise operating from premises adjacent to the Norris Way Household Recycling Centre (HRC) in Sutton Coldfield, is run in partnership with Birmingham City Council and managed by the Jericho Foundation, a Birmingham-based charity that works with disadvantaged individuals to help them break down barriers to employment.
Visitors going to the Centre can donate re-useable but unwanted items to the ReUsers rather than letting them enter the waste stream. They are then prepared for sale in the ReUsers Megastore upon the same site. Rescued and restored items for sale include furniture, clothing, antiques, collectables, bric-a-brac, framed artworks and prints, tools, architectural salvage, toys, games, exercise equipment, camping outdoor/ leisure items and bicycles.
The Sutton Coldfield Observer adds that – working in partnership with the Jericho Foundation – Sutton Coldfield social enterprise Trikes and Bikes has now refurbished 259 bicycles, returning them into a roadworthy condition. The income generated from these donated bikes – sold by the ReUsers – has been contributed to Jericho’s Apprenticeship programme.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for a Green, Smart and Sustainable City at Birmingham City Council, said: “Our aim here in Birmingham is to eventually become a zero waste city, where we make every effort to find a new use for things that are no longer wanted or needed. This scheme is leading the way, and we are now looking at how similar ventures could operate elsewhere across the city.”
Jericho have now opened a second branch at their headquarters in Balsall Heath to accommodate some of the stock they do not have room for at Norris Way – enabling them to serve a customer base in a different part of the city. Since July 2014, a further 5,300kg of items have been sold at the second site.
Richard Craythorn, ReUsers Project Manager, said: “The project’s success is helping to change the way we view what is really waste and is encouraging people to consider second hand as a first choice. We hope encourage society to make, mend, and repurpose items that they may have considered throwing away”.
The address for public access is The ReUsers, Norris Way, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, B75 7BB. Anyone interested in finding out more can call 0121 329 2797 or visit www.facebook.com/thereusers
*The Bloomberg link no longer works as the article has been cached. But here is a Google search record: