Winner: Tendring Reuse and Employment Enterprise, Greenfields Community Housing and Braintree District Council
This collaboration between a charity, social enterprise, housing association and district council has boosted recycling and reuse for the whole Braintree area. It diverts suitable discarded furniture and appliances from landfill to community shopping outlets, reducing waste tonnage and CO2 while increasing reuse rates.
The partnership includes Tendring Reuse and Employment Enterprise (TREE), a charity that provides bulky waste collection and disposal services on behalf of Braintree District Council, including payment handling and a call centre.
A partnership with Greenfields Community Housing provided funding for a community furniture and electrical warehouse for the whole community. A product discount scheme is also offered for tenants, including free local delivery.
TREE offers empty property clearance services to the housing association, allocating any surpluses from sales of cleared items to a fund for those in crisis in the local community, through which they can receive free furniture and appliances.
This winner was a unique partnership which has taken the recycling process a step further on traditional bulky waste and housing association projects
Champions within each of the partner organisations worked together to develop a project plan that met the aims of the Community & Housing Investment Partnership fund. A panel of tenants, development officers and other stakeholders awarded £150,000 over two years to launch the project. All partners actively marketed the initiative to ensure that local residents are aware of the disposal and donation service and the items on sale in the community warehouse.
More than 700 customers visited the shop and more than 150 items were sold within the first three months. A six-month training placement has been started for a merchandising assistant.
The expectation for year one is that 37.4 tonnes of goods will be diverted from landfill and sold through the project. Overall, since the launch of the bulky waste scheme, the charity has collected 19,045 items from 5,258 households, equating to 606 tonnes.
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