London mayor Boris Johnson has announced an £8m grant for the London Community Resource Network (LCRN) to create a London Reuse Network (LRN) for household goods.
Delivered through the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB), the grant will help to establish ‘clusters’ of local organisations such as councils, charities and community groups which will deliver a reuse and repair service to residents and businesses within the local area, as well as a web portal and ‘reuse hotline’.
The LRN’s first cluster will be organised by the Western Riverside Waste Authority, which will provide a reuse workshop to repair white goods and furniture for reuse across Wandsworth, Lambeth, Kensington and Chelsea, as well as Hammersmith and Fulham.
Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This is a historic day. We are launching the brilliant reuse programme to encourage the people of London to give their beds and furniture to the LRN and it will then be distributed to people who need it.
“Speaking as someone who has often picked up wonderful bits of furniture from skips and tips and refuse places, it is crazy [that] as a society we are sending our beds and our sofas to landfill outside London, creating great piles of methane gas when we could be passing on these priceless heirlooms to families such as my own.”
The LRN aims to divert 17,000 tonnes of reusable products including white goods and furniture from landfill in two years, as well as providing jobs by training people to repair unwanted household goods.
LCRN chief executive Matthew Thomson told MRW: “We are in different times now economically and everyone is watching the bottom line. Apart from the mainstream market, at the moment only 5% of London’s benefit claimants access reused goods so we’ve got a massive expansion to do just to meet real need and then in time we would hope to mainstream it and get to the eco-conscious consumer too.”