Wiltshire Council celebrates one year of furniture upcycling project

Wiltshire Council, FCC Environment and Kennet Furniture Refurbiz (KFR) celebrate the one year anniversary of their collaborative upcycling and reuse project.

Operating 100 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) nationwide, FCC Environment manages eight HWRCs in Wiltshire on behalf of the council, and has been setting aside good quality items such as washing machines, tumble dryers, cookers and good furniture.

FCC Environment, Wiltshire Council and KFRThese are then dealt with by KFR, a charity that refurbishes furniture and white goods and distributes them to low-income households, where they are either sold or revamped.

To mark this first anniversary of the initiative, all partners of the scheme came together to take a tour of the HWRC in Devizes operated by FCC Environment. This was followed by a tour of the KFR warehouse, where items with more life in them are taken for refurbishment or onward sale.

Throughout the year, the partnership has seen the charity collect around 27 tonnes of white goods for reuse and resale to those in need.

Of the collaboration, FCC Contract Manager Mark Rowe said: “What became clear to us through COVID is just how much residents value their local HWRCs as they were deemed an essential service with our staff confirmed as key workers.

“We work hard across our sites to recycle everything we can, and that’s a great outcome, but reusing items is an even better outcome so we are delighted to have been able to team up with KFR in this way and to breathe new life into things that are no longer needed by their original owner.”

Cllr Dr Mark McClelland, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Waste, said: “We’re delighted to work in partnership with FCC and KFR on this project, which has seen 27 tonnes of white goods diverted from waste streams, refurbished and donated to people in need in Wiltshire.

“Preparing items for re-use when they have been discarded as waste is an important part of our Household Waste Management Strategy, so it is really good to see this in action.”

“This is a fantastic project that benefits both Wiltshire people and the environment, and we’re happy to support it.”

Manager at KFR, Dan Thompson, said: “In the last few years the charity has seen demand from our customers grow dramatically for affordable cookers, washing machines, tumble dryers – this situation was exceeding available supply. We recognised the requirement for more stock to feed through our refurbishment process.

“The link with Wiltshire Council, FCC Environment and the HWRCs works brilliantly. It has allowed KFR to access a variety of different items with lots of life remaining.”