BLACK GOLD

Diverting and recycling waste from Hyndburn Used Furniture Store to enable social enterprise, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions.

To enable the capture of and diversion of bulky waste from landfill, Hyndburn Used Furniture Store has embarked on a radical approach to conserving the worlds resources. To facilitate this the charity will provide a number of services to enable Social Enterprise to deliver the end goal.

Initially the charity will collect all requests for bulky waste, destined for landfill to maximise reuse opportunities, whilst also diverting some of the most problematic waste streams. To enable this to take place HUFS has set-up a recycling centre to facilitate diversion of mattresses, beds, all wooden products and a range of other materials previously sent to landfill. A number of containers have been located on site to separate out these materials for onward processing and promotional activity to inform potential users of the site of the facilities on offer.

Containers with waste waiting to be recycled and reused.Containers with waste waiting to be recycled and reused.End markets for mattresses have already been secured and remanufactured products from 80% post consumer materials are now on sale at the charity. To increase diversion further we will recover wood from materials and convert it into a charcoal product which will be sold to increase revenue. The technology will also be adapted over the life of the project to extract heat from the process and used to heat the warehouse where deconstruction takes place. This not only extends the life of wood but also provides a sustainable resource and replaces other products manufactured across the globe.

The impact on the service is already showing an increase in diversion in the short space of time since the infrastructure was put in place. By diverting these biodegradable materials there will be a significant reduction of greenhouse gases directly contributing to the protection of the environment.

Production of charcoal from waste wood will create a niche market and replace charcoal supplied to the UK from destruction of forests in South America, Asia and Africa. Replacing these materials with locally manufactured resources will ultimately reduce CO2 emissions generated by the global transport of this product.

A by-product of the process is heat which will be captured and used to heat the factory where recovery will take place maximising the resources of this process and extract every ounce of value from the process. The whole package being developed will be disseminated to other reuse and charitable groups once all the financial evidence has been secured and the viability of the project established.

 

UPDATE JUNE 2013

Highlights OF the first 6 months of the project are:

  • 78.5 tonnes of wood have been diverted from landfill
  • 41.5 tonnes of mattresses have been recycled.
  • A supply chain has been implemented to provide 80% recycled content mattresses to deliver a circular economy solution and provide essential furniture to low income families
  • Press release issued by Letsrecycle on circular economy re remanufactured beds.
  • “End of Waste” for wood has been secured from the Environment Agency for recovered wood
  • Order placed and manufacturing equipment secured to implement charcoal production
  • Membership of the new British Bio Char Foundation group with international reach looking at the promotion and sustainable use of bio char in the economy.
  • Commercial discussions of using bio char in a new growing medium
  • Development of a new biomass heating system to capture waste heat generated by the charcoal production process.

HUFS started in 2004 with a remit of providing essential furniture to those on the edge of deprivation. To complement this service the charity aimed to increase diversion from landfill to protect the environment we live in. Over the last few years austerity measures have had a significant impact on our business. To adapt, HUFS have diversified into delivering services on behalf of a number of local authorities to access more goods for reuse. This has enabled the charity to maximise diversion and implementation of a supply chain to remanufacture mattresses to support the development of the circular economy.

Last year HUFS committed to reporting Carbon Emissions to measure the impact our business has on the environment. To offset our carbon footprint the organisation has committed to implementing and delivering energy saving, transport and recycling measures to support this initiative. To address this, the business has changed energy supplier to a greener tariff, a proportion of which includes renewable energy. Because of the support APE has provided, the charity now has infrastructure in place to increase diversion to support our aims of reducing the carbon impact created by our services. HUFS have committed to reporting our Carbon emissions annually and can be seen in the annual reports submitted to the Charity Commission. To address our need for energy from fossil fuels HUFS have committed to installing a biomass heating solution to reduce our impact further over the next year.

A significant milestone was achieved in securing “End of Waste” to manufacture a charcoal product from recovered wood. This created an opportunity to develop a new market previously not considered. This year will see the delivery of a charcoal production unit to start small scale product manufacture for a number of applications. Interest has been expressed in developing and marketing the product though a national distributor with aspirations to introduce new products HUFS are currently working on utilising a number of waste materials.

The choice of equipment and design to manufacture charcoal has been taken due to its simplicity and adaptability. The process produces waste heat controlled at 500-600 c, HUFS are exploring various technologies to introduce a flu gas heat recovery unit to maximise the benefit of the charcoal production system.

Over the coming year HUFS will roll out further services to increase the range of materials which can be captured and diverted away from landfill. There will be an open door policy for all customers looking to dispose of unwanted goods to enable the charity to maximise its environmental credentials whilst protecting the environment from climate change emissions from landfill.

 

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