Informing the feasibility of a large-scale reuse park

Managing five household recycling centres (HRCs) in North Wales, Bryson Recycling has seen the social value to local communities of establishing a partnership with a local social enterprise to run reuse shops at some of their sites.

Bryson Recycling wanted to understand the opportunities around mainstream reuse and enable ready access to larger quantities of reusable and repaired materials and products from houshold recycling centres in North Wales.

Objectives

Resource Futures was commissioned to help Bryson Recycling understand the scope for establishing a large-scale reuse park and to determine the development opportunities for this kind of operation in North Wales.

Approach

We adopted a five-stage approach:

Step 1: Establish the aim. We identified Bryson Recycling’s and other key stakeholders’ priorities for reuse and repair in North Wales. The outcomes of this activity formed the cornerstone of the remaining research stages.

Step 2: Landscape review of reuse and repair centres in Wales. We centred on desk-based research to understand existing reuse and repair activities in Wales. The aim was not to ‘reinvent the wheel’ but instead to learn from existing best practice and ensure the activities of Bryson Recycling did not pose a threat to existing long-standing reuse operations in North Wales.

Step 3: Review of large-scale reuse centre best practice. We identified and analysed large-scale reuse centres within and outside of the UK. The aim was to understand the success factors and key challenges of establishing large-scale reuse centres.

Step 4: Social acceptance and market appraisal. Working with subcontractor Kelly Thomas, Director of Cylchog, we combined a survey of public reuse attitudes and practices in North Wales and stakeholder interviews. The aim was to understand the appetite for large-scale reuse.

Step 5: Opportunity mapping. We consolidated findings to define and assess different models of establishing reuse operations in North Wales. The aim was to establish the readiness level of each option and provide a roadmap of actions for each opportunity.

Outcomes

The research provided clarity to Bryson Recycling on the best reuse potential opportunity with highest readiness levels for North Wales. This enabled Bryson Recycling to understand regional stakeholder buy-in and partnership development that would underpin requirements for the success of any option taken forward.

Steps are underway at Bryson Recycling to gain a deep understanding of the reusability of materials and products brought to household recycling centres, including how workers and visitors perceive reusability.

Impact

The work will help Bryson Recycling support the Beyond Recycling commitments in Wales and help the local authorities they serve to significantly increase the scale of reuse. 180,000 tonnes per year of furniture, clothing and shoes, electrical and electronic equipment and wood collected by local authorities in Wales has been identified as being potentially reusable.

While some local authorities in Wales have set up reuse shops at household recycling centres and additionally support reuse activities such as paint reuse and bicycle reuse, the reusability rate of local authority-collected waste is currently limited to about 5%.

“Complementing their circular economy expertise with a collaborative and structured approach, Resource Futures ensured we stayed focussed on outcomes and practicalities.

“We were encouraged to challenge our way of thinking, which helped us to better clarify what it is we want to achieve. By helping us understand the range of options open to us, and what’s needed to overcome the key risk factors, we now have a clear picture of our next steps.”

– Aileen Monahan, Assistant Director at Bryson Recycling

 

Project Information

Services involved

Circular Economy

Team involved

Ann Stevenson
Circular Economy Lead

Brendan Cooper
Consultant