What is a circular economy?
By Danny Rutter – Sales Director Renovo
A circular economy is an alternative to a traditional linear economy (make, use, dispose) in which we keep resources in use for as long as possible, extract the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life.
Why a circular economy is important?
As well as creating new opportunities for growth, a more circular economy will:
• reduce waste
• drive greater resource productivity
• deliver a more competitive UK economy.
• position the UK to better address emerging resource security/scarcity issues in the future.
• help reduce the environmental impacts of our production and consumption in both the UK and
Redundant Legacy Furniture in line with the Circular Economy Principles
It is possible to carry out furniture and equipment clearances in-line with the Circular Economy Principle. In doing so you will minimise the waste produced in your clearance and maximise the materials that can be reused. Where your resources cannot be reused, a range of recycling and reprocessing options using local suppliers should be sought. When further recycling is not possible, energy to waste solutions can then be provided.
Furniture Storage & Management – Waste Prevention
Audits of Existing furniture – It is vital to ensure that you are making the most of your assets. A furniture and equipment audit should be produced to detail what is not required anymore. Furniture type, size, colour, and condition scores should be noted. Whilst this furniture may not be suitable for one space, it may be still relevant to other areas of your business. It may well be that other support functions in the business could make use of this asset.
Storage and Stock Control
Can help you keep better control of your resources with up to date records of all your furniture. It is possible to store your furniture and be provided with the ability to view all stock on line, so you only store what you need for your long term requirements.
Furniture Re- use – Minimising Your Waste
Re-Modelling of existing furniture – life of existing assets can be extended by re- modelling and re-topping desks. In addition, larger desks can be reduced in size and shape dependant on type and framework to make them more relevant to a changing workplace.
Chair & Fabric Refurbishment
A seating upholstering, renovating and repairing service can be sourced. This service typically covers not only all types of office chairs as well as commercial, fixed and education seating as well.
Furniture and Equipment Resale
With changing requirements and technologies, good quality furniture and equipment can often be wasted. It is important to ensure the full value of the equipment can be realised and the exit from the building is managed. Whilst eBay and similar platforms can be useful for selling single items, to manage multiple transactions for a large asset sale can be very time consuming and stressful.
Selling IT equipment can be quite lucrative, but it is important that all Data bearing assets have been cleared / wiped of all data.
Reuse – Charitable Donations and Reselling Your Furniture
If you have charities that can benefit from furniture and equipment that you no longer need, then this is a great way to extend the life of these assets. It will also benefit your CSR portfolio. This could be the physical assets or monies raised from reselling / recycling the assets as a donation.
It should only be when the above routes have been exhausted that the re- cycling of the assets should be considered. It is also important to avoid Landfill as much as possible.
Most items can be dismantled to ensure that the different components and materials can be separated into recyclables. This is normally metal such as chair bases, filing cabinets, desk frames etc. These can then be taken to a metal recycler who will weigh the product to be processed. In most instances this will attract a credit from them, dependant on weight and type of metal.
Woods should also be separated and recycled. This in some instances can be transferred from Waste to energy which attracts a lower fee then mixed waste.
Any other items should then go to waste transfer sites that will carry out further segregation of recyclable materials.
IT & WEEE Clearance
It is vital that you meet your environmental commitments and legal responsibilities when disposing of redundant IT and electrical equipment. All items must be recycled in line with the WEEE directive. This means that all items will be dismantled to their component parts and all recyclables are extracted from them.
Before any data bearing items are handed over it is important to ensure that all Data media is wiped. Accredited WEEE recycling companies will be able to help with this element to meet the relevant security standards.
If you would like any more information on Circular Economy or would like help with any of these services please get in touch with Danny Rutter on 07553 265 461