Re-use and repair hubs can boost Scotland's sustainable economy, says report

Written by: Recycling Waste World | Published:

Businesses, third sector groups and local authorities collaborating to form ‘re-use and repair hubs’ could transform the scale and economic clout of re-use organisations in Scotland, according to a new report released this week by Zero Waste Scotland.

Businesses, third sector groups and local authorities collaborating to form ‘re-use and repair hubs’ could transform the scale and economic clout of re-use organisations in Scotland, according to a new report released this week by Zero Waste Scotland.


The report is reported to have found that a high quantity of quality goods as well as collaboration across private, public and third sectors were essential to expanding the re-use sector in Scotland through large-scale retail of re-usable goods, which has the potential to create jobs in communities across the country and relieve the pressure on increasingly scarce raw materials.


According to Zero Waste Scotland, its report highlights the "real opportunities for smaller re-use organisations (those trading less than 21,000 goods per year) to partner up with others to generate the supply of quality goods needed to make a large scale re-use hub work economically".


The report examines how re-use and repair hubs work internationally and draws on this expertise to suggest models which could work in Scotland.


To coincide with the report’s findings, Zero Waste Scotland has announced that it is launching a fund that is open to bids from groups interested in collaborating to form re-use and repair hubs in Scottish communities.


"The hubs could work in either rural or urban communities, and there’s a particular interest in bids which look at re-use or repairing high value goods such as large home furnishings and electrical goods," said a ZWS spokesperson.


Funding options are said to be available to cover operating costs, staffing, leasing space as well as plant and equipment, vehicles or other infrastructure.


"There are no restrictions on who can apply as long as they meet programme requirements. All third sector applications should be accredited members (or working towards accreditation) of Revolve, Zero Waste Scotland’s re-use standard," stated the ZWS representative before adding: "Building the re-use sector in Scotland will be essential in diverting usable items from landfill, benefiting the environment, and relieving pressure on scarce resources. Thousands of re-usable items are sent to landfill every year, including 12,800 tonnes of sofas and 9,800 tonnes of washing machines.


"In Scotland, we are already re-using some items and the economic and environmental benefits of increasing this are clear. Currently, 17% of all sofas (84,000) are re-used, generating £1.5m in sales and jobs, and saving 4,500 tons of C02. And there is a market - research shows 83% of people in Scotland would be happy to buy second hand goods."


Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “A thriving re-use and repair sector has to be a major part of the Scottish economy in the future, as global pressure on resources increase. Re-use and repair hubs will also progress Scotland’s ambitions towards a circular economy by providing hubs which maximise re-use and repair, creating jobs and training opportunities, especially at a local level, with skills to extend the longevity of products and the re-use of materials.


“We are encouraging local authorities, third sector organisations and businesses to get in touch if they are interested in being involved in a collaborative bid for form a re-use or repair hub. Please visit our website or contact our staff if you your organisation wants to be part of a hub in your community.”


- For more information or to make an application to the fund, visit Zero Waste Scotland’s website at http://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/reusehubs


 


 


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