Total Reuse CIC have just won the prestigious 2016 PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club Awards for Environmental Impact.
The PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club has a membership of more than 250 social entrepreneurs across the UK. Drawing on the broad skills and resources available within the firm and through its community partners such as the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Social Enterprise UK, it provides a wide programme of support exclusively for members.
Founder of Total Reuse Martin Gamester, (seen in the picture below), joined the club earlier this year following the company’s success at the National Recycling Awards where they won the award for Waste Prevention. He told us: “The PwC Social Entrepreneurs Club is a fantastic opportunity for organisations like ours to learn from a solid network of advisors and peers who’ve seen it before and have experience and expertise to share. When the email arrived about the awards I thought it was worth entering as we had just been recognized at the National Recycling Awards that are about waste and this was about social enterprise. Plus, we were looking to purchase a foam shredding machine that would turn a waste stream into an income stream and the award offered a £5,000 prize that we could use towards the purchase.”
The awards were held at the Fire Station in London in the social enterprise hub that houses a complementary group of inspired organisations working collaboratively to advance social and environmental change. The awards in 2016 continues both regional and national recognition for the organisation and its activities. They have been shortlisted for the Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management for 6 of the past 7 years, (they didn’t enter the year they missed!), winning in 2010 and 2013 and collected the Best New Project at the Red Rose Recycling Awards on three occasions. One of its biggest achievements was gaining Gold at the Zero Waste Awards for its initiative with the University of Liverpool.
With the simple message that ‘if its reused it doesn’t need recycling’ the company have developed commercial income streams that support the wider work of the organisation and enables them to donate reusable items to individuals, charities and good causes. Each year,
Total Reuse divert more than 1 million kilograms of items formally classed as waste from landfill, donate items to over 100 individuals in need, 300 families and 150 charities, community groups and good causes.
Everything from beds to children who don’t have a mattress to sleep on to stainless steel kitchens for community cafes has been donated and they also take on commissions remanufactured from 100% reclaimed materials. A 60-seat cinema, café and restaurant furniture, a re-fit a of a student union bar, nothing is impossible.
How do you describe such a diverse organisation? Martin said: "It’s a bit like a jigsaw with no edges. An opportunity creates a new piece and starts a new row. We do stuff. We make stuff, we fix stuff, we take stuff apart, we restore and re-manufacture stuff, we design stuff, in fact we do loads of stuff with stuff”.