Tuesday, May 19, 2009

ReIY: Building Material Reuse Centers for the UK

A conference was held on 12 May, organised by BioRegional, to bring together people interested in helping to create social enterprise building material reuse centres. The UK government are ear marking millions for projects which encourage reuse and have a social element.

Walk past your nearest construction site, and chances are you will see piles of materials that may or may not make it into the final building. As with many industries, the level of waste is often quite staggering.

The notion of Building Material Reuse Centers, is where construction waste is sorted and resold, rather than sent to landfill. The idea started in America but it is now coming to the UK with help from the Bioregional Development Group.

Cara Whelan, ReIY Project Manager at BioRegional said, ”We have found that there’s fantastic support for ReIY Centres. They will save contractors money as it will be cheaper to send waste to a ReIY Centre than taking it to land fill. They will create jobs and what’s also really important is that they will save natural resources – a shocking 13% of construction materials never get used and end up in land fill sites."

Bad storage, over ordering and a lack of organisation means that we are 15 percent worse off than we were seven years ago. Bioregional propose that ReIY centers can divert 5-15 percent of materials from landfill. These centers will not only focus on reducing carbon emissions by reusing materials but they also have social benefits. ReIY centers will create a number of new jobs and it is hoped that government back to work training schemes and NVQ training can be explored as part of the project.

Further information from Cara Whelan at BioRegional

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