Norfolk opens two new reuse shops to boost recycling and cut waste

Two new reuse shops opened this month are set to boost recycling and cut waste in the county. Each one of Norfolk’s reuse shops stops on average 91 tonnes of good quality reusable items being thrown away every year.

There were celebrations as Wells-next-the-Sea recycling centre’s new shop opened on Friday 7 June and the ribbon was cut on Bergh Apton’s shop on Monday, 10 June.

Cllr Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council Cabinet Member for Environment & Waste, said: “I’m very proud that we’re helping people to cut waste in the county. Over the past five years we have seen a phenomenal 3400 tonnes of items pass through our reuse shops. Helping to give a toaster, a toy or a garden trowel a new home means they’re not thrown away and that is the very best form of recycling.

“The reuse shops at Dereham and Caister have been so popular we’ve already doubled the size of those this year and with the brand new shops at Wells and Bergh Apton we now have 11 across the county. But we’re not stopping there as we have plans for new shops at Heacham, Wereham and Snetterton later this year, so watch this space!”

Since April 2018 Norfolk’s reuse shops have been donating a proportion of their income to the current chosen charity, the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Amy Haynes, from the East Anglian Air Ambulance accepted a cheque for the £9,470 that has been raised so far.

Amy Haynes, Community Fundraiser at East Anglian Air Ambulance, said: ‘’We are delighted with the continued support from the Norfolk County Council reuse shops; with each mission costing on average £3,500, and having recently launched our mission 24/7 campaign to raise an additional million pounds each year so that we can fly 24 hours a day, the £9,470 raised through the shops this year will make a huge difference to our work. The addition of the sites at Wells-next-the Sea recycling centre and Bergh Apton recycling centre not only offers us a fantastic opportunity for further fundraising, it is great to see items finding a new home and being re-used across Norfolk.’’

The County Council’s reuse shops welcome donations of good quality second hand pieces and sell these on at bargain car boot prices. Helping to give things a new home reduces the amount of unwanted items going to waste and the income from sales in the shops helps to offset the cost of providing the recycling centre service.

Cllr Dr Marie Strong, local County Councillor for the Wells division, said: “My diary records I first sought a way to facilitate the re-use of more items at Wells Re-cycling Centre in February 2012 – shows persistence pays off! But real praise is due to our Head of Waste for his work to bring reuse shops into operation at so many of our re-cycling centres and to the co-operation of our staff at the centres.

“Of all the information I share with my parishes positive interest in the reuse shop follows closely on to news about broadband! Not surprisingly because it will cut waste, make available cost effective items and give a donation to charity.”

Cllr Barry Stone, local County Councillor for the Loddon division which includes Bergh Apton, said: “I am very pleased to welcome the new reuse shop at Burgh Apton and look forward to residents in the wider community contributing towards an increase in recycling unwanted items. It is also a great way of helping charity, currently the East Anglian Air Ambulance, as well as contributing towards much needed County Council revenue. I am confident it will be a great success and congratulate all the staff and volunteers for the hard work in bringing this project to fruition.”

In 2018-19 the network of reuse shops made a £184,107 contribution towards the £6.1 million annual cost of Norfolk’s 20 Recycling Centres. In the same year 821 tonnes of items passed through the reuse shops.

The new reuse shops at Wells and Bergh Apton are part of a £35,000 improvement scheme that has already seen the shops at Dereham and Caister doubled in size this year.

To find your local reuse shop visit: www.norfolk.gov.uk/reuseshop