Vertical garden at Changeworks

New Reuse Service Launched!

Whether you’re updating your office furniture or upgrading the equipment you use, every now and again you’re bound to have bulky or unusual items that could be reused by someone else. You don’t want them cluttering up the place, but getting rid of them can take a lot of time and effort. Until now.

Thanks to the innovation of Holly Benyon-Bell in our facilities team, we’re piloting a service that helps our clients get rid of good quality, unwanted items, whilst also helping to protect the environment. No other waste management company goes to the lengths we do to ensure that your bulky and unusual unwanted items are disposed of in the most environmentally friendly way. All with no hassle for you.

How it all started..

It all started when Holly was walking around the warehouse one day.

“I was struck by how many useful and worthwhile items were being broken down for recycling. A lot of energy goes into making goods in the first place, and while recycling is better for the environment than putting them in landfill, reusing them is even better!”

The Waste Hierarchy ranks waste management options in the order that’s best for the environment, reusing materials is second only to reducing the amount of waste produced. 

Holly started out by looking for ways these items could most easily be reused, and asked if she could try to find homes for them amongst the Changeworks and Changeworks Recycling staff. This was a great success and she found homes for chairs, a bed frame, some tote bags, and a set of patio doors. The Changeworks Green Team reworked an old pallet into a vertical garden to enhance our outdoor space. 

She then began to wonder how she could expand the scheme to incorporate even more of the Changeworks ethos. So she started approaching charities to see if they could use some of the items that were landing in the warehouse. In this way, Holly took a kernel of an idea and made it into a new service.

Local charities have already benefited 

She now has an ever-expanding list of contacts to help her find good homes for an eclectic mix of goods. Office desks that nobody wanted have gone to an upcycling facility in Dundee that’s passed them on to cash-strapped students. Remakery, a Leith-based charity that upcycles items and sells them on, have taken cabinets, chairs, wool, and electronic quiz voting buttons, which they’re making into children’s toys. And a recent donation of duvets and pillows from a large Edinburgh city centre hotel, have gone to the homeless charity Crisis, and the Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home, respectively. Holly also has contacts within primary schools, and she’s been able to donate unwanted pens and envelopes to them.

Driving Simulator reused into an art installation

Maybe the most challenging item that’s come into the warehouse since the pilot began, was an old driving simulator. It was a bulky bit of kit, and it would have cost a lot to build. It seemed a shame to spend the time and energy breaking it apart if it could be found a new home. Holly advertised it on Gumtree, and within a couple of hours she’d had a great response. The proud new owner is an artist who’s using it as part of his masters degree art installation.

Enhance your Corporate Social Responsibility

The items Holly finds new homes for are the kind of items you’re not quite sure how to get rid of. They don’t fit neatly into one particular recycling category, and because they’re still in good condition, with plenty of life left in them, you don’t want to send them to landfill either. Often they sit in a storage area (or the corridor!) while someone figures out what to do with them, only to forget about them when a solution doesn’t immediately present itself. We want you to get rid of these items easily, in the knowledge that you’re not compromising your green credentials. In fact, you’ll be enhancing them, as well as contributing to your Corporate Social Responsibility objectives!

How to use the reuse service

To make use of the Reuse Service, email our Client Service team and give them details of the items you have for collection. They’ll give you an uplift quote, and if you decide to go ahead they’ll let Holly know what items are coming into the warehouse. She’ll then do her best to find a new home for them, and if she can’t find a way your items can be reused, they’ll be recycled. Why not have a scout around the office and see what unwanted items you can find?

The benefits to your business of using our Reuse service are:

· You get rid of unwanted items, and don’t have to worry about storage.
· You help out a good cause.
· You boost your CSR and green credentials.

The benefits to the environment of you using our Reuse service are:

· Fewer items end up in landfill sites.
· Fewer raw materials are used. 
· It helps out local charities.

We’ll leave the last word to Holly:

“I love that this service has both a business and environmental benefit. It’d be great if all Changeworks Recycling clients knew about the Reuse Service, and used it for whatever items they might have that they don’t need anymore. And I enjoy a challenge, so the more unusual the better!”

PS. Keep an eye out for future news articles about the items we rehome!

If you have some items that can be reused then email us! 

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