The Reuse Network (the rebranded FRN) is in the middle of a launch campaign to try to push the UK public to better understand reuse and to help them realise that they can donate large household items to local charities. Like other areas such as recycling, donations from the general public have recently flat-lined and are even decreasing in the reality of a pinched economy. Reuse Network is reaching out to local authorities who may not be running bulky waste schemes, or who are looking to discontinue established schemes, to see if they can work together with local charities to provide a Bulky Waste service. There a chance here for collaboration between local authorities and a local Reuse members given that the push is local - based on local papers, adverts in shops and on vans and via local events. The push could involve the local authority website.
Reuse Network has developed a "widget" (a piece of code) that can be copied and pasted into a local authority website, perhaps on the bulky waste page, which would act as a 'service finder' - you can see how it would look and work by clicking on Shelter's Cash in a Crisis page and scrolling down to "Help to furnish your home". This was specifically developed with referral agencies, charities and local authorities in mind - you simply copy the piece of code onto your desired page and it will link to Reuse Network - you can see a preview of the service finder here - and get help to install it.
This is part of an effort to extend the Why #Every2ndcounts this May campaign being run by Reuse Network and explained below.
Why #Every2ndcounts this May
Every year millions of unwanted items are sent to landfill, but up to a third could be repurposed and reused to help low-income families. This May the Reuse Network is encouraging households across the UK to give their unwanted household items a second chance, because #Every2ndcounts.
The #Every2ndcounts campaign has been created by the Reuse Network, a group of over 200 charities and social enterprises across the UK who are committed to giving household items a second chance. Formerly known as the Furniture Re-use Network, the organisation rebranded earlier this year in time for its 30th anniversary in October next year.
Discussing the campaign, Craig Anderson, CEO, Reuse Network says: “Giving unwanted household items and furniture a second chance is better for our users, communities, and our environment. It genuinely changes lives.
“In 2017, across the UK we helped 1.5 million households save almost £436m. We prevented 125,600 tonnes of CO2 being produced, and saved a further 117,450 entering the waste stream. But we can do more.
“The #Every2ndcounts campaign is about celebrating the contribution that our donors make when they give items, and the incredible impact that the reuse sector makes to society and the environment.”
The campaign has been endorsed by influential green campaigner George Monbiot, who said: “This is a brilliant and crucial initiative, that helps shift us away from the madness of the waste economy and towards a viable future.”
Throughout May, Reuse Network partners across the country will use the #Every2ndcounts hashtag on social media to give members of the public an insight into some of the amazing donations we receive. You will learn about the life-changing impact the reuse sector has and how you can get involved.
One donation that has raised eyebrows earlier this year was a set of ashes stored in a filing cabinet and donated to a Reuse Network member, Community Furniture Store in York. The ashes, misplaced during a house move, belonged to a relative of Professor Fiona Raitt, a former Professor of Law at Dundee Law School. Reuniting the two, member of staff Ros Batchelor said: “We are delighted to have been able to return this item of immense personal value to the family. Our staff work very hard to help our customers and donors, but this did require a rather special effort.”
You can find information on the Reuse Network, including where to find local Reuse Network members on the Reuse Network website. There you can also find an impact calculator, which allows you the chance to see how donations change lives.
Craig has a message for everyone this May: “If you’re considering throwing something away, think about whether it could be reused by someone else.”
“The donations we receive are repurposed and reused, to give low-income families the items they need to turn a house or a flat into a home. They’re available at a fraction of the cost of buying new.”