A re-use shop on a Household Waste Recycling Site?
Are you joking?
Revive Leeds CIC Shop after its first
12 months of operation
For about seven years Leeds City Council, and furniture
re-use projects in Leeds studied the progress of projects
across the country operating shops on household waste
recycling sites. When Leeds City Council upgraded their
Household Recycling Site in Seacroft in north east Leeds,
they included a purpose built shop. Revive Leeds, a newly
formed community interest company, was successful in
competitively bidding to operate the new re-use shop,
designed to catch and divert waste headed for the landfill.
Revive Leeds CIC was formed on 3rd November 2010, as a
partnership by three Leeds based third sector groups: St
Vincent de Paul (SVP) which is an international Christian
charity that operates a number of Community Support Projects
such as Furniture Stores (14), Community Shops (40) and
Support Centres (3); Emmaus Leeds which is a charity helping
the homeless and part of a national network; and South Leeds
Alternative Trading Enterprise (SLATE) which is a social
enterprise designed to support people with learning
disabilities. The mission of Revive is to become the number
1 household waste site shop in England, providing work and
volunteering opportunities for people from socially excluded
All three organisations run re-use services in Leeds.
Between them they have 13 outlets across the city, selling
furniture, household and electrical goods, clothing and
bric-a-brac saving useful resources from landfill, selling
on at affordable prices to local people in need, creating
jobs and providing volunteering opportunities for people
from disadvantaged backgrounds. Between them they employ 48
people, engaged with 258 volunteers and work placements and
diverted 327 tonnes from landfill in 2010.
The shop is based in Inner City East Leeds, which is one
of the city's most deprived areas, with soaring unemployment
and a great need for jobs and training for local
people. Revive respond by providing this and more.
When people know that there is a re-use shop operating
locally, it is an incentive for them to dispose of unwanted
items responsibly. The less stuff that finds its way to the
waste tip the fewer lorry journeys, which results in a
reductions of CO2 emissions.
Revive volunteers and staff are helping to dispose of
unwanted goods in an environmentally and socially friendly
way. This is having a long term positive outcome for the
people who live in the local community. In fact Revive
increasingly see people who have travelled simply to use the
shop, because they like the atmosphere and want to get a
bargain. They want to help the environment and in doing so
People who come to the site are not only getting rid of
their "rubbish" they are also donating items that can be
re-sold for the benefit of the community. The old Yorkshire
adage "one man's muck is another man's brass" comes to
reality in Revive.
The shop encourages waste site users to visit Revive by
trying to generate a "feel good" atmosphere about spending
Matt Campbell, SVP, August 2012