On July 11 2011 a group of 7 cyclists (6 fire fighters and me!) are leaving Lands End and heading for John O’ Groats.
Our aim is to arrive in 7 days, averaging 125 miles per day.
A year ago firefighters James Shears and Alan Bannon lost their lives fighting a fire at Shirley Towers in Southampton. We are undertaking this challenge to raise money for the Firefighters Charity. The Fire Fighters Charity exists for all fire service personnel during their times of need, and assists thousands of individuals every year, by providing pioneering treatment and support services.
It costs over £9 million every year to keep the Charity running, and with no government funding, the charity is completely reliant upon donations from the general public and fire community.
When we were planning the move to our new head office, we had quite a dilemma over how to dispose of our excess furniture in as environmentally friendly a way as possible.
We were moving from a block purpose built for our needs in the 1960s, with space for over 3,500 people, to a new head office, planned and built for around 1,000 people. This meant we had excess racking and shelves, desk screens, filing cabinets, cupboards, desks, desk chairs, meeting chairs, plan chests, pedestals, soft seating, plants and much more. While some certainly seemed to be reusable, other items, once unbolted from walls and floors and moved, would be of little use to anyone.
Have you come across this problem in the past? How did you deal with it? We worked with a company called Go Green Reprocess Ltd to ensure our excess furniture was disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. As well as recycling every scrap of material they possibly can, Go Green Reprocess work to sell and donate reusable items in the local community. In total, they processed some 17 895 items for us, amounting to 484.6 tonnes – and not one piece of our furniture went to landfill.
In fact, around 20% of the furniture was either sold or donated for reuse. Some 30 organisations benefitted, most local to our Southampton head office, and a handful local to Go Green Reprocess’ base in Shropshire. The rest of the furniture was then stripped apart (often a painstaking task, I’m told) and recycled.
While we know a number of contacts at local schools and charities, Go Green Reprocess spread the net much wider and contacted 123 schools in the area as well as many local charitable groups. They arranged viewing of the items available and then collated lists of requested items and arranged collection times. Local organisations that received donations included Romsey District Scouts, Nursling and Rownhams Village Hall, Hounsdown School and Oakwood Primary School.
Go Green Reprocess have already had some great feedback:
There is no budget allowance for this type of equipment in schools at the moment, therefore the school really do appreciate the generosity of Ordnance Survey and Go Green. Thank you for your help.
Doreen Longman, Community Development Officer, Hounsdown School
Thank you so much for allowing us to collect items from the clearance at Ordnance Survey, we are extremely grateful. I attach our certificate of thanks…
David Sutton, Vice President, Romsey District Scouts