Expanded recycling scheme making a difference to people in need

Release Date: 19-Aug-2010
An innovative household recycling scheme that helps people get started in their homes is celebrating getting a new home of its own, with the official launch of the ‘Think Smart Recycle’ scheme and the opening of a new depot this week.
The new service  helps customers get started in their new homes

The new service helps customers get started in their new homes

Think Smart is a new venture run jointly by KNH and SHAP (Single Homeless Accommodation Project). It has grown out of an existing electrical recycling scheme run by KNH for council tenants and a furniture scheme run by SHAP for its clients.

Such was the demand for the free services that KNH and SHAP have joined forces to help more people. The expansion was also made possible by a grant from the council’s Recession Board, which aims to support initiatives that make a big difference to Kirklees residents in these times of financial hardship.

The new partnership and additional investment have also made it possible for the service to move into a new depot, which means it can take many more donations of furniture than in the past.

When an item is donated, it is safety checked, cleaned and then “re-homed,” free of charge, with new tenants on low incomes, who may be living on their own for the first time and not able to afford to buy furniture or essential items such as fridges and cookers.
To qualify for the scheme, customers must be experiencing financial or social difficulties and referred by staff from KNH, the council or SHAP.

Joe was one of the first people to benefit from the service: “I am a single guy with two kids who live with their mum. They were never allowed to come and stay with me as I didn’t have any furniture.

“Since getting the items from Think Smart Recycle, they can now come stay as I have a sofa we can sit on, a table and chairs, which means we can all sit as a family and eat together, and a microwave so I can cook for them.

“The scheme has helped me so much. Without this help I still wouldn’t have furniture – I don’t know what I would have done without it.”

Cllr Shabir Pandor, the Kirklees cabinet member responsible for housing said: “The Think Smart Recycle scheme helps meet the Council's green agenda at the same time as it helps local people.

“It is a great example of how partners can work together to develop new and innovative services that make a real difference to people’s lives, especially during these times of hardship.”

Simon Rogers, KNH Chief Executive, said: “The idea for the scheme came from wanting to do something with all the perfectly good furniture and white goods left in empty properties every year. It seemed an ideal way to cut the amount of waste we took to landfill and help our customers.

“The partnership with SHAP and the funding from the council’s recession board means that we will now be able to help even more people in Kirklees.”

Helen Minett, Director of SHAP says, “we’re delighted that we’re now working in partnership with KNH. Bringing together the two small recycling projects allows for an expansion that is definitely greater than the sum of the two parts. It’s good that we’re both committed to providing items free of charge to those people who are struggling to furnish their family home. I’m also very pleased with the development of the weekly brochure; this ensures that people can have an element of choice.”

So far, the expanded scheme has been a great success. Since January this year, 211 households have benefited. However, the scheme always needs more stock. So if you’re replacing any furniture, white goods or other household items, and they’re in a good, useable condition, please don’t throw them away. Think Smart Recycle will collect them from you and make sure they go to someone who really needs them.

To make a donation, please contact Hana Nadat on 01924 490702.

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