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Saturday, 29 November 2014

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Saving all this furniture from our landfill sites

A furniture recycling service which saved 671 tonnes from Cumbrian landfill sites last year is expanding – and is hoping to save even more in 2009.

Impact Furniture Services, which recycles unwanted household goods, has just opened a new branch in Workington. And project officer Margaret Graham says the new branch could help it keep as much as 800 tonnes out of the county’s landfill sites next year.

The service, run by Impact Housing, takes donations of old and unwanted items from people clearing their homes or replacing old equipment. These can include furniture, white goods such as fridges and washing machines, TV sets, stereos and small amounts of bric-a-brac.

The goods are then sold at reduced rates to needy families on low incomes, so ensuring that they are reused rather than being dumped as rubbish.

Impact Furniture Services already has depots in Carlisle, Penrith and Ulverston. Mrs Graham said many of those donating and buying items at the Carlisle centre came from west Cumbria, so they had decided to open a branch in Workington.

She said: “We’ve only been open in Workington for a few days but stock is already building up.

“There are a lot of very active green groups in west Cumbria so we hope it’s going to be busy.”

Although the project was set up to help needy families who could not afford new items, Mrs Graham said it was becoming increasingly popular with environmentalists who want to purchase second-hand goods and reuse them rather than consuming more raw materials by buying new items.

“There’s a cultural change happening now,” she explained. “Our customers are not just people in need, but people who want to be green.

“We’ve seen a real increase in that number in the last three years.”

The scheme is also proving a very effective means of recycling. She added. “This year we diverted around 671 tonnes from landfill in Cumbria, and we hope that next year we could save as much as 800 tonnes.”

Mrs Graham said Christmas and New Year always proved a busy time for the service, as people receive new TV sets or white goods as Christmas presents and want to give away their old ones. Others want to replace furniture before receiving visitors.

“Anything that’s reusable we are happy to have donated,” she said. “We take fridges, freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers, beds, sofas, tables, chairs, hi-fis and TV sets as long as they have a socket for a digital transmitter.”

Anyone wishing to make a donation or buy an item from the service should contact their nearest branch. Phone 01228 633655 for the Carlisle branch, 01768 210555 in Penrith and 01900 68648 in Workington.

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