John Lewis has launched a new recycling scheme to collect ‘end of first life’ sofas directly from customers’ homes to support disadvantaged communities and breathe new life into waste furniture.
In partnership with The Furniture Re-use Network, a national co-ordinating body for 300 UK reuse organisations, John Lewis’ not for profit scheme is to help families in need that cannot afford to replace worn out or broken furniture.
Sofas will be collected by John Lewis green van drivers as they deliver new ones, to be stored at John Lewis facilities. Once repaired, sofas will be redistributed to local people in need with the help of some 17 local charity partners across the country.
In line with The John Lewis Partnership’s strategy to divert 95% of waste from landfill by the end of 2013, the scheme aims for 65% of returned sofas to be reused, 20% repaired or refurbished and then reused, and 15% broken down into component parts and recycled.
Stephen Cawley, the head of sustainability at John Lewis called the scheme “a win-win approach for communities and the environment”.
After conducting a trial in the North-West which saw 192 sofas successfully reused and recycled, the initiative is being launched nationwide this month.
“The trials were a resounding success and I am delighted they have paved the way for the roll out of such a positive scheme,” says Lesley Wilcox from The Furniture Re-use Network.
As part of its strategy to gain control over waste flows, John Lewis has recently signed a contract with Liverpool-based recycler Centriforce Products in a bid to close the loop on its plastics waste.