Agenda item

Grant Funding Application to Promote Repair and Reuse Initiatives


That the Committee note and support the submission of a grant funding application to promote repair and reuse initiatives.


            In presenting the report the Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) outlined the proposal for the joint funding bid for the re-use project with Refurbs Flintshire which had been submitted to the Landfill Disposal Tax Community Scheme via the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.  As this funding was not available for the Council support had been provided to enable Refurbs Flintshire to submit a bid.  This fell under the Waste Minimisation and Diversion from Landfill to encourage reuse and recycling.


            The Regulatory Services Manager reported that this was first looked at in 2019 and that following discussions with residents and comments made at Housing Recycling Centres (HRC) sites it was being reviewed.  There were many items being disposed of which could be re-used and recycled.  Charities had been approached to attend the HRC sites, speak to members of the public to divert good quality items from being thrown away.  Several charities were keen to get involved but then the pandemic struck so this was halted.  Discussions were now being held with the charities to move this forward and proposals for the pilot, firstly with Refurbs, being developed.  She referred members to 1.05 in the report which detailed the proposals and arrangements for the storage container.   These items would be collected from each site and delivered to a central hub operated by the Council. They would then be sorted into bulk lots such as toys, textiles, bric-a-brac etc for the Charities to sell.  A library would also be created at the hub for recorded media and books which could be loaned.  It was envisaged that once this was up and running donations would be delivered directly to the hub rather than the HRC sites.  There were also proposals for kerbside collections of textiles in the first instance.  If the funding was successful there would be a publicity campaign with the volunteers from Refurbs and other charities working at the HRC sites to engage and promote this with members of the public.  She provided an overview of the items that would be focused on for this pilot.


            Referring to the grant funding the Regulatory Services Manager confirmed that there was significant competition for this with only one successful applicant per year.  The bid had been made as bold and ambitious as possible to ensure it stood out.  If this bid was unsuccessful work would continue to pursue and identify any additional funding.  If successful, the project would commence in April 2022 until March 2023 dependent upon the funding.  Consideration had to be given for the infrastructure, building and vehicles but that the key focus was to promote this and raise awareness.  There were benefits for the charities and the public would be less likely to throw these reusable items away.  The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) commented that once the public were aware of this service, they would be less likely to dispose of these at the HRC sites, thus saving good quality items from landfill.  Consideration also had to be given to the environment permitting and discussions were being held with Natural Resources Wales to ensure we were compliant with the legislation.


            The Chair commented that this was an excellent idea and asked if small electrical items would be included and was the textile service a free service.  In response the Regulatory Services Manager confirmed electrical items would not be accepted in the first instance but if there was a demand this could be looked at in the future.  The textile collection services would be a free service in the first instance under the grant funding.  There would be a better understanding following the pilot and if this was successful the service would have to be free.


            The Cabinet Member for Streetscene commented that this was an excellent initiative with a great partner in Refurbs.  He wished the team the best of luck with the bids and thanked the staff at the HRC sites for their passion and hard work.


            The Cabinet Member for Economic Development commented that this had been done before working with Refurbs.  He felt because of the pandemic a lot of items would have already been disposed and said that some charities were quite picky with what they would accepted.


            The Chair commented that there was so much scope for this especially engaging with retired people to pass on their skills to the younger age group.


            The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) agreed with Councillor Butler’s point and that this was not something new but grant funding had been awarded in previous years to similar projects. It was hoped the bid would be successful but there was competition with the whole of Wales. 

            The Regulatory Services Manager reported on the Repair and Reuse Centre and Cafe in the old HRBC site in Buckley.  Circular Economy funding was obtained for this, and the café supported the work delivering the workshops and classes on upskilling and repurposing items.  She referred to the skills of the volunteers and reported on a publicity campaign being launched to see if other retired people would consider joining the team to teach younger people how to rescue and re-use these items.  This would be a hub in the community.


            The Chair suggested that information be sent to all members for them to circulate within their wards.  This was agreed.


            The Chief Officer (Streetscene and Transportation) commented that it was hoped to have similar centres in all towns and larger communities.   This would also count towards the Council’s Target 70 recycling rate.


            Councillor Dennis Hutchinson commented that this was excellent and there were discussions on having a garden centre in Buckley and that one in every larger community would be great.


The recommendations were moved and seconded by Councillors George Hardcastle and Joe Johnson.




That the Committee note and support the submission of a grant funding application to promote repair and reuse initiatives.

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