A poll by FCC Environment / YouGov has revealed that the public is keen to buy a wide variety of quality, second-hand items from their local household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) – doing good for the environment, for local charities and the community in the process.
The survey comes at a time when many people have had a ‘COVID clearout’ and have tried to find new homes for pre-loved but unwanted belongings that still have plenty of life left in them.
Its findings show that most people like to buy second-hand items and many do so regularly – that some of the same people regularly use their local HWRCs and want to be able to buy second-hand items when they visit.
Announcing the research at this year’s LARAC Annual Conference last week (14 October), FCC Environment’s Operational Director Steve Longdon said:
“Our results give local authorities, plenty of scope to open more reuse shops at their facilities. Many of these councils have declared climate emergencies, acknowledging their need to act on the causes and impacts of climate change in their bid to help meet Net Zero targets. More reuse shops at HWRCs – similar to those already working successfully across the country selling goods, from everyday items to the extraordinary – can be one more step in the right direction.
“At our award-winning HWRCs, our focus on re-use is both climate- and community-friendly, reducing waste and providing training opportunities, as well as offering quality second-hand goods at a fraction of their normal price, often benefitting local charities. A re-use shop really is a win for everyone.”
FCC Environment currently operates nine re-use shops at its HWRCs across the country, working with its local authority and charity partners – including East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Dove House Hospice.
The FCC Environment / YouGov poll aligns with a clear Government focus on re-use alongside repair and remanufactures as part of its Resource and Waste Strategy, which states the need to encourage more reuse through HWRCs and contracts with charities.
The Government strategy sets out how reuse keeps viable products in active use for longer, helps to preserve natural resources, avoids carbon emissions caused when new products are made/distributed, and minimises the impact of dealing with waste – while helping those who are less able to afford new provisions:
“When items arrive at HWRCs it’s an opportunity to identify and segregate good quality products that are suitable for reuse. Some local authorities already do so to excellent effect, and there are also good examples of collaborative working with charities. Overall, however, there is considerable scope for being more ambitious.”
The national Litter Strategy also emphasises reuse – particularly that of packaging – as a key feature in its drive to prevent public littering and clean up our country.