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
Reading this blog hopefully shows that there are lots of interesting things happening here at Ordnance Survey. However, we also have lots of staff doing interesting things away from work.
Husband and wife team Sam and Jean Martin, who have jointly worked at Ordnance Survey for 50 years, have just returned from an 8 day expedition walking the 84 mile route of Hadrian’s Wall.
Along with their 17 year-old son and other friends and colleagues, they did it to raise money for George’s Trust – a charity set up in memory of George O’Brien, a family friend who suddenly died at age 17 from cancer which gave no warning.
“George had got up one morning complaining of difficulty breathing. An hour later he was in hospital and died shortly after. He had seemed like a perfectly normal, healthy and active teenager. His death was a dreadful shock and a reminder of how fragile life is.”
The walk had taken months of planning and was an emotional journey for all those involved as several years before he died, George had vowed to walk Hadrian’s Wall to raise money for a cancer charity in memory of his grandfather who had also been struck down with the disease.