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Stirling Reuse Hub: Transforming Waste into Economic, Resource and Social Opportunities

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The Stirling Reuse Hub (credit: Matt Lewis, Circular Communities Scotland)

Far from the pandemic silencing the climate emergency, it has pushed it up the agenda.  The Covid 19 response has galvanised communities. Grassroots responses working with local authority support, has shown the advantages and power of collaboration, sharing resources to take care of the vulnerable and those in need.

During the last couple of years, people have learned new skills, discovered repair over renew, met their neighbours, renewed community spirit, reconnected with nature. There is growing global consensus that we have the opportunity to build a more fair, resilient and sustainable future.

Four-fifths of Scotland’s carbon footprint arises from products and materials, predominantly associated with consumption of products and services (Zero Waste Scotland).  The Stirling Reuse Hub set up by Transition Stirling, in partnership with the council and supported by Forth Environment Link, Creative Stirling and Recyke-A-Bike opened its doors to the public on the 5th March 2022.  The Stirling Reuse Hub was made possible following a successful application to Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Investment Fund, which is funded by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund.

The Stirling Reuse Hub provides customers with a large collection of raw materials, spare parts and pre-loved goods ready for a new home, alongside a range of unusual and unique products, made by the people of Stirling.  With ‘Makers spaces’ located on the shopfloor, customers have the opportunity to chat to the repairer’s and upcyclers as they work on their pieces.  There are also upskilling opportunities through upcycling workshops and skill sharing.

Customers taking part in upcycling furniture and weaving with cashmere offcut drop-in workshop

 

 

Maker creating mosaics from ‘waste slate’ (credit: Matt Lewis, Circular Communities Scotland)

Science tells us that we have a 10-year horizon to radically change course if we are to limit average global temperature rises to 1.5°C and avoid the worst effects of climate change. It also tells us that current pathways will not deliver the transformation needed.   A dramatic step-up is needed across all sectors at all levels.

Consultations with local residents told us that they hated seeing good things go to waste, and the community was keen to see items that they no longer needed being used by others.  The Stirling Reuse Hub enables residents to donate their unwanted items directly to the Reuse Hub or items can be dropped off at the collection point at Lower Polmaise Household Waste Recycling Centre.  Giving residents an easy way to donate items was a key focus for the Hub, which has currently diverted approximately 20 tonnes of items.

Kate Hamilton, the Stirling Reuse Hub Manager said ‘“We are delighted to work with our partners on this new collaborative project.  The funding will enable us to provide a wide range of volunteering opportunities and small workshop spaces for creative residents who are interested in up-cycling and restoring items for sale in our shop.  The Reuse Hub will also enable customers to shop local and grab a planet-friendly bargain by offering affordable, quality assured second-hand items, commonly required spares and unique upcycled and artistic pieces.”

We hope that our community benefits not only from the space, equipment and opportunity to grab an exclusive planet-friendly bargain, but also from the skills and experience of their neighbours and the coming together as a community.”

Environment and Housing Convener, Cllr Jim Thomson said: “The Reuse Hub is a fantastic initiative which embodies Stirling Council’s aims to create a circular economy.

“While most of us do our best to ensure we recycle where we can, many items which are in good condition may find themselves being discarded and set to be placed into landfill. Transition Stirling will collect items placed in the dedicated containers at Lower Polmaise Household Waste and Recycling Centre and divert them to the Hub where they will be repurposed and made available to be purchased.

“In addition to helping reduce the amount of waste that Stirling Council sends to landfill every year, the Reuse Hub will also bring employment and volunteering roles for local residents as well as training and upskilling opportunities.”

Off-cuts from scrap pallet-wood

 

To find out more visit Transition Stirling’s website: https://www.transitionstirling.org.uk/



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