Construction of South Bristol Reuse and Recycling Centre progresses
Construction is progressing on a brand new Reuse and Recycling Centre in South Bristol, with a purpose-built Reuse Shop being installed this week.
The facility will become one of the largest household recycling centres in the region upon its completion, with the outlet that is currently being fitted becoming Bristol’s largest Reuse Shop.
The store will market pre-loved items, deploying a team of staff and trained volunteers to ensure each item is fit for retail. It will be the second shop of its kind in the city, the first launching in Avonmouth in June 2020.
Bristol Waste, who operates the facility, claim that the original Reuse Shop has already diverted approximately 80 tonnes of refuse from the waste stream, with rescued items supporting local charities through providing a regular source of donations. Bristol Waste also states that profits from the sale of reusable items end up being reinvested into waste reduction schemes, as well as directly into local initiatives.
The waste management company asserts that the new centre will grant Bristol with additional recycling capacity in order to help meet growing demand. It will also aim to reduce congestion at the two existing waste recovery sites. Furthermore, the facility’s split-level layout and one-way traffic system will enable local residents to sort their items into accessible and dedicated bins with increased ease, according to Bristol Waste.
The construction work is being undertaken by Encon Constructions, which claims that the staff, supply chains and vehicles involved in the process will be sourced locally wherever possible. The company also states that the project has created employment and training opportunities for nearby residents, through the introduction of Government Kickstart Schemes, which target 16-24 year olds who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. So far a trainee quantity surveyor and a trainee project manager have been drafted through the initiative.
In addition to this, Encon Construction reports carrying out a range of local social value and community engagement projects as part of the contract, including: tree planting; sustainability and art workshops with a local school; ‘meet the buyer’ events; and the forging of a partnership with with Restore Trust and Acorn Recruitment in order to deliver a Sector-Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) employment skills course, as well as work placements.
Further engagement events are planned with local educational institutions, alongside a diversity and inclusion project in collaboration with On Site Bristol to encourage BME groups into construction.
The facility is scheduled to open to the public in 2022. It will be operational seven days a week, only closing three days a year: December 25 and 26, and January 1.
Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, commented: “It is great to deliver this facility that the residents of south Bristol have been waiting for, for many years. I am delighted to see the developments already made, and all the good work happening in the process.
“We are proud to be the leading English Core City for recycling, but we know there is always more that can be done, and this new facility will help us to reach our ambitious recycling targets.
“Part of our commitment to making Bristol cleaner and greener is further reducing the amount of waste that is sent to landfill, and this centre will help us to achieve this goal by supporting people to recycle, repair and reuse – giving pre-loved items a second life.”
Tony Lawless, Managing Director, Bristol Waste Company, said: “Overseeing a project of this size and scale during a pandemic and through Brexit has not been without its challenges. It makes seeing it take shape, and staying on track, on time and within budget, even more exciting.
“The pandemic made us value our precious resources more. It highlighted the need to waste less and recycle more in our own homes and beyond. This new site will provide a solid infrastructure for the south of our city to lead the way to a more sustainable future.
“The Recycling Centre will help save valuable resources, offer low-cost household items to local residents and help us reach our ambitious recycling targets.”