Bulky Waste Re-use Partners in Belfast

A partnership between Belfast City Council and the social enterprise East Belfast Mission (EBM) has resulted in re-usable bulky items being re-used and recycled at the city’s four recycling centres.

The council tendered for this service in April 2011, and decided to tender exclusively to third sector providers. EBM won the contract on a no-cost basis to the council.

In the first six full months of operation over 40 tonnes was collected for potential re-use, saving approximately £2,850 on disposal costs. Training has been provided to council recycling centre staff to help them identify items suitable for re-use.

EBM has a long track record of social engagement in inner East Belfast, and has a range of social economy projects including providing good quality, affordable second-hand furniture to local householders who could otherwise not afford it. This contract created two jobs and two further jobs were safeguarded, also supporting work for two volunteers and seventeen placements.

Targeted awareness raising was integral to this initiative: to minimise displacement of items from existing re-use routes, the scheme was only advertised at the recycling centres, in the EBM shops and on recycling banks.

To find out more, have a look at our case study.