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NRAs 2016 - Waste Prevention (Public-Third Sector )

Winner: Total Reuse

Total Reuse is a social enterprise based in the north-west that diverts reusable items from landfill and makes them available to low-income families, charities, community groups and good causes.

Its Total Clearance and The Green Team services were introduced as an environmentally friendly alternative to skip hire. Total Clearance does as the name suggests while The Green Team – a van, driver and two crew – provides a rapid response. Between them they offer a complete range of services to the domestic and commercial sectors with the sole objective of diverting reusable items from landfill.

We liked the enthusiasm, the variety of innovation around reuse solutions and the transformation of old products to new uses

Judges’ view

As a member of the Furniture Reuse Network, the organisation is able to access a network of reuse outlets across the region and find a new home for most of the furniture and household items collected. For those that need it, the Tool Shed service will repair, restore and refurbish items or remanufacture new products from the materials. Items unfit for reuse will be dismantled by a deconstruction team and the component parts diverted as fuel or recycled.

Other activities that come under the Total Clearance banner include delivering the bulky waste service for two local borough councils, collecting items from customer take-back schemes for four John Lewis Partnership stores, Ikea Manchester, several Benson’s For Beds stores and other local manufacturers and retailers.

Total Reuse began working with the University of Liverpool in January to clear 89 student bedrooms in eight days. The university saved a fortune in skip hire charges, and it provided social value for the items donated.

With the income generated from the university and a waste minimisation grant, Total Reuse had a budget of £13,500, which purchased a dedicated vehicle, recruited a driver and Total Clearance was launched on 1 January 2014.

From January to December 2015 the initiative diverted 1,300 tonnes of reusable items from landfill.


  • Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Giveacar
  • Ideas2Action
  • North London Waste Authority (Gift of Waste)
  • North London Waste Authority (Pumpkin Rescue Festival)


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