World’s Largest ‘Reuse Network’
14 Sep 2010
The world’s largest ‘reuse network’ is to be established in London, helping household items find a new home, rather than being thrown away
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Eight million pounds has been awarded for UK’s first city-wide repair and reuse service
The world’s largest ‘reuse network’ is to be established in London, helping household items find a new home, rather than being thrown away.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson and actress Joanna Lumley OBE announced £8m funding to create the London Reuse Network, which will collect, store, refurbish and sell-on everything from furniture, books, carpets and bikes through to cookers and fridges.
By 2015 the network aims to be diverting over a million items from the waste stream every year, training thousands and employing hundreds of people. It aims to prevent 17,000 tonnes of reusable products from reaching landfill over the first two years of the project, saving over 80,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. A reuse hot-line and web portal will be provided to serve the whole of the city.
The funding, from the London Waste and Recycling Board, is being awarded to charitable social enterprise, London Community Resource Network (LCRN), to create the scheme. LCRN involves 200 charities, social enterprises and other groups working in recycling, composting, local food growing and waste prevention to find community-based solutions for making better use of resources across the capital.
A small ceremony was held in July, outside City Hall, to celebrate the funding announcement. Under the direction of green designer Oliver Heath, volunteers constructed a London Reuse sculpture made from restored furniture.
Joanna Lumley, who donated her old sofa to LCRN, said at the event: “Reuse is the very best you can do … It’s good for people’s hearts and souls to know that something has not been broken, trashed and kicked underfoot, but it has been polished and restored, had buttons sewn on and had the knobs repaired, has been looked after and loved, and is coming round for a second time — Brilliant!”
James Cleverly, chair of the London Waste and Recycling Board, added: “Just small repairs can turn your unwanted item into someone else’s treasured possession, and that’s what we’re doing.”
‘Clusters’ of organisations will make up the London Reuse Network, the first of which will be the Western Riverside Waste Authority who manage waste from the London Boroughs of Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth, Wandsworth, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The project includes the creation of a reuse workshop which, in its first year, will train over 40 young people in the refurbishment of electrical appliances and furniture.
Boris Johnson said: “It is a common sense use of our natural resources that we provide ways for people to hand in items they no longer need, but which still have plenty of useful life in them. This funding is really welcome news, and is helping to create a service for Londoners to do exactly that.” He added that the scheme will reduce the heavy economic cost of sending waste unnecessarily to landfill.
Contact: London Community Resource Network (LCRN),
The Grayston Centre,
28 Charles Square, London, N1 6HT
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7324 4690
Joanna Lumley and London Mayor Boris Johnson in front of a three-metre high sculpture of recycled furniture. Photo: courtesy LCRN
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