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Cash boost for repair and reuse scheme

A collection service for reusable household items will soon be up and running across four London boroughs. Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA) has been awarded an £850,000 a grant from the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWaRB) to set up the innovative project.  WRWA is responsible for the disposal of waste from Hammersmith and Fulham, Lambeth, Wandsworth and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

The scheme will target unwanted objects, like old televisions or furniture, which can be fixed up and resold. The aim is to increase the amount of 'waste' put back into use. Residents with a reusable item will call a telephone hotline to arrange a collection. The goods would be taken to a workshop at Smugglers Way Waste Transfer Station where they will be repaired and made ready for resale. The workshop will double as a training centre where unemployed 18 to 24 year olds can gain valuable experience and new qualifications.

WRWA's waste management contractor, Cory Environmental Limited, has generously provided the land and workshop buildings free of charge. The training centre will be run by environmental regeneration charity Groundwork London. If the scheme proves successful it could be rolled out London-wide.

Cllr Tim Ahern WRWA Chairman said:  "This is an exciting and innovative project that will move material up the waste hierarchy and make a significant social contribution by offering job opportunities and training in these difficult economic times.

The Mayor of London wants us to regard waste as a resource and this project together with the Authority's recycling initiatives will help achieve behavioural change leading to residents asking 'what can I do with this' rather than 'how do I get rid of this'."

The project is supported by the waste collection contractors working across the four boroughs - Biffa Waste Services, Serco Group, SITA UK and Veolia Environmental Services. For more information on the Western Riverside Waste Authority visit www.wrwa.gov.uk

Date posted: 12 July 2010