Today marks the official launch of three new Renew Shops across Greater Manchester, operated by SUEZ, selling pre-loved household items donated by residents at their local household waste recycling centres.
Based on donations so far, an estimated 600 tonnes will be diverted from waste to recycling each year, reducing energy, carbon and supporting Greater Manchester’s target to be a carbon neutral green city-region by 2038.
Not only will the shops support the environment by finding new homes for items that would have otherwise been sent to waste, they will also support local communities across Greater Manchester with all profits going to good causes.
Every year £100,000 will go to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, and a minimum of £220,000 to the Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) Community Fund focused on reducing waste, increasing recycling and reuse, and adding social value.
This year alone, 21 groups have been successful in receiving money from the R4GM fund, with projects starting this summer covering a whole range of initiatives from community grocer schemes, repaint projects, and upcycling schemes aimed at working with disadvantaged groups to combat social barriers.
The shops themselves form part of a bigger reuse project for SUEZ working in partnership with the GMCA. A Renew Hub is currently being developed in Trafford Park, which will not only supply the shops and offer a space for online sales, but will also be used to repair and upcycle items allowing the introduction of electrical and white goods. SUEZ will work with like-minded businesses and charities to run the repair pods, giving the opportunity to employ and train local people and volunteers in skills for the green economy.
The Hub will also include a multi-functional event and community space, and a visitor experience run by the R4GM education team delivering sessions focusing on reduce, reuse and recycle.
Already, the creation of the shops and the development of the Hub have resulted in 10 new roles with many more opportunities to come.
David Palmer-Jones, SUEZ Group Senior Executive VP for Northern Europe, said, “As a company, we are committed to maximising the positive impacts of our business on the environment, the local economy and the communities that we work in.
Reuse is a huge part of this, with items being diverted from waste and given a second lease of life, benefiting those in need. It is fantastic to work with GMCA and nine local councils who share our values and we are very proud to be officially launching the new Renew Shops in Greater Manchester which I am sure will be a great success. The positive impacts from reuse are only just beginning, with 21 organisations already receiving support through the Recycle for Greater Manchester Community Fund, with a huge scope of opportunity yet to be realised with the development of the Hub.”
Speaking at the launch event, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said, “This is a brilliant thing to celebrate this morning. There’s a win-win here on lots of levels, in terms of benefit to people in Greater Manchester and to our communities. It’s a really innovative approach that’s being taken here by SUEZ in partnership with our Waste team.
We’ve got a really good partner here in Greater Manchester working with us as we rise to the climate challenge. We have had a bit of a throwaway culture in society. I think this is really important – it’s about telling people we should always recycle, and in doing so we can create jobs, we can create value, you can support people who need help. It’s a different way of doing things.”
Cllr Neil Emmott, GMCA Lead for the Green City-Region, commented, “With these Renew Shops and the Renew Hub, we’re hoping to forge a path to a more sustainable way of doing things – one that sees us wasting less and reusing more. Reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and boosting recycling can help us reach our target of a carbon neutral Greater Manchester by 2038, and in the process we can create good, skilled green jobs and educate local communities on sustainability.
We all have our part to play, and I would encourage everyone to come and visit the shops and find out more about how you can give a second life to items you may no longer need, helping local communities in the process.”