A new project is underway, promoting reuse and repair so that people can hang on to goods that are in suitable condition to continue!
The Restart Project, founded by Ugo Vallauri and Janet Gunter, promotes reuse by encouraging people to take their broken electrical items to a “Restart Party”, at which they will be pulled apart and put back together again by people who know what they are doing.
In the UK and other developed nations, people generally discard old items that no longer work, such as vacuum cleaners and laptops, and buy a replacement. But in developing nations, there is more emphasis on repair and reuse. Mr Vallauri realised this when he worked with Computer Aid. He told the BBC:
“They fix almost everything in those places. They just don’t have the money to buy them new.”
But people in the UK today often do not know where to turn, even if they would prefer to repair; they may fear being ripped off. The Restart Project is aimed at helping people to overcome their fears, and have their items fixed so they can use them again.
The process is simple. People bring their items that need repairing, and describe the problem to the fixers at the party. The fixers tell the owners what is likely to be the cause of the problem, then they take the items apart to work on them.
Mr Vallauri feels that more electrical equipment should be reused, and that waste that could add financial and social value to local communities. He added:
“We don’t like it when we see things that end up in a skip, or even recycled by our councils, when they could have a second or third life if only we use some basic repair skills.”
We agree with Mr Vallauri. Although we are obviously fully committed to recycling, which is very good for the environment, we prefer to promote reuse wherever possible. We have invested heavily in manufacturing processes to turn waste plastic and glass into beams and tiles for the construction industry.
We also repair and reuse furniture, scrap cars and other bulky items that are collected by our Community Dotcom schemes, when it is economically viable to do so.
Through all our work, we add value to local communities because we are committed to Corporate Social Responsibility. For example, we open up our sites for community events, which help us to raise awareness of reuse and recycling.
A major part of our Corporate Social Responsibility agenda is concerned with providing support to homeless and unemployed people, which we do through our social welfare charity. Its Residents are provided with accommodation and employment opportunities; they also go on training courses to boost their skills.
If you are interested in reuse, we are always happy to provide advice and guidance. We are also experts in recycling and waste management, so if you need an environmentally friendly service, hire us for your waste management needs!