Thursday, 5 December 2019

Muir achieves Council support to encourage more upcycling, repair cafes and zero waste shops


Furniture upcycled by my Mum and Sister
I welcome decision by the Council's Environment Committee to unanimously endorse my proposal to encourage more upcycling, repair cafes and zero waste shops.

I presented my Motion seeking to build upon the great achievements made to date by our officers in the recycle agenda as part of the wider reduce, reuse and recycle strategy.

As we move into the next phase of our Waste Management efforts I took the opportunity to look at what's happening elsewhere and found a number of examples of how we could pursue the reuse agenda, conscious of some of the arrangements already in place. Ability to, for example, drop off redundant bicycles and appliances at Household Recycling Centres for subsequent refurbishment is already in place and extremely popular but there's more we could do.

Seeing how repair cafes operate elsewhere it would be great to see if we could trial one here in our Borough allowing people to bring items to get fixed rather than consigning them as waste.

Furniture upcycled by my Mum and Sister
"Repair Cafés are free meeting places and about repairing things together. In the place where a Repair Café is located, you'll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, etc. You'll also find expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields." From https://repaircafe.org/en/

Opportunities for more upcycling would also be great, whether it be of clothes or furniture. My Mum and Sister manage to do all sorts of wonderful upcycling themselves but are keen to explore how to do more. Classes, events and other ways can make the process much easier.

Furniture upcycled by my Mum and Sister
In terms of zero waste shops, I have started to see these pop-up outside our Borough and hope officers can see what we can do locally to encourage more in Ards and North Down.

As we hopefully start to turn back from being a throwaway society I hope Council can provide residents with the tools to reuse items rather than seeing them go into the bin.

Motion presented by Alderman Muir and passed by Environment Committee on 4 December 2019, subject to ratification by Full Council meeting on 18 December 2019.  "That this Council asks officers to bring back a report on current range of services offered enabling reuse of items which otherwise would end up treated as waste and considers opportunities to support repair cafes, upcycling of clothes and furniture and provision of incentives for zero waste shops."

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