London Re-use Limited
London Re-use Limited (LRL) is a new company set up by London Community Resource Network (LCRN) to build and develop the model to increase the re-use of unwanted household items across London that would otherwise be destined for landfill.
Working closely with LCRN’s network members, LRL seeks to develop working partnerships that create a step change in the thinking towards re-use and develop the operational network of re-use projects to increase collection, repair and retail outlets to create a new product loop for the thousands of tonnes of re-useable items that would be thrown away each week.
Our network partners cover the following re-use streams, - domestic furniture, office furniture, carpets, textiles, large and small WEEE (ie fridges and appliances), small household items, books, bicycles, children's toys and equipment, wood and paint.
As a charitable initiative, the network promotes its service directly to the public, business and the non for profit sector, enabling donations and collected items to be used again thereby increasing an items life span. We will also work closely with London’s Local Authorities, to ensure that as much household bulky items collected by the re-use network projects is re-used, or recycled.
The London Re-use Network will be the largest and most ambitious developing re-use model anywhere in the world. Network memebrs can receive combination funding - 50%grant and 50% loan to grow thier business operation, for London Re-use Limited.
The intention is that the Re-use Project froming the network will become self-sufficient from a funding perspective in the long term, and that the developed model is one which will be replicated all over the world.
How it will work
A public facing on-line web portal and central phone number will be developed, as well as a quality assurance mark for the network it will be the one-stop-shop for re-use collections, restorations, and re-distribution in London and represent an important element of the movement towards waste minimisation. The Mayor has acknowledged the significant role re-use will play in his vision for the city.
But aren’t there already re-use organisations out there? Yes, and we are not reinventing the wheel, nor discrediting their achievements , we’re just facilitating their efforts and offering an integrated and strategic approach. Basically, we’re getting them to work together to build on each of their strengths and ensure a consistent message reaches the city, while adding some infrastructural boosts to their services (warehouses, vehicles, IT, marketing).
Many of these organisations and charity shops have admitted to turning down public donations because they lack the resources to accommodate them.
To put this in perspective, look at the numbers.
Aside from these tonnage targets, there are other obvious benefits from this project. Everyone involved in re-use testifies to the high job satisfaction, as well as looking after the planet. It will increase employment, creating more jobs as more London residents use these services. Jobs range from van driving, warehousing, and repair/ re-manufacture> our funding will aslo cover training needs to increase social outcomes.
The other benefit of this is that, at present, there is no central space that collates the amount of re-use collected and passed on in London. There are some interesting websites out there reporting on waste and recycling, but they’re somewhat restricted on re-use figures. Local Authorities abide by the DEFRA guidance, to count and report on reuse tonnages based on formal agreements only.
In addition, there is a lot of positive re-use activity happening online (eg. freecycle, gumtree) but none of this is really recorded in one place. The London Re-use Network will strive to document all of these interactions and help London gauge its progress on re-use diversion by quantifying the amount of items diverted for re-use in London.