Ethical Clearance Service Scoops Award

on Friday, 03 October 2014. Posted in News

In January 2014 Total Reuse CIC launched its ethical domestic and commercial clearance service under the banner: Total Clearance.

We are pleased to announce that it has just received official recognition by winning the prestigious 'Best New Project' at the Lancashire Community Recycling Network Awards. 

The Lancashire Community Recycling Network’s annual awards event has recognised the extraordinary contribution made by Skelmersdale-based social enterprise ‘Total Reuse’, who scooped the award for Best New Project category for their ‘Total Clearance’ service.

Total Reuse is a community interest company operating throughout the North West that exists to find alternative uses for the things people no longer need or want, before they are lost to landfill. They are on a mission to salvage materials from derelict buildings and demolition sites re-manufacturing them into new products which prolong social history.

'Total Clearance' is their ethical house clearance service which prioritises the reuse and recycling of items over disposal, alongside a focus on client care and compassion. Whereas some house clearance services ‘cherry pick’ desirable items from homes and landfill the remainder, Total Clearance is designed to be a more ethical service, ensuring often vulnerable people are supported at a time of loss, usually following the death of a loved one, and that the clearance process is handled sensitively. The team thoroughly cleans the property once it is cleared.

Total Clearance has diverted 60 tonnes of domestic ‘waste’ – mostly furniture and other household items - and 190 tonnes of commercial ‘waste’ (mostly bedroom, kitchen and lounge furniture from Day Centers, offices and university complexes).

Total Reuse Director Martin Gamester said "Winning the Lancashire Red Rose Resource Award for 'Best Project' is a fantastic reward for the time and effort the team have put into the Total Clearance service. All three members of our team started as volunteers. Jamie is now General Manager, Phil was put on salary in February and is now Team Leader and the prize money has gone towards adding Richard to the payroll from 1st October.”

“For the company it is recognition that whilst the aim of the project is environmental, it also has a major social impact. In all honesty, 'Best New Project' is the best award we could have won".

“The next target that Total Reuse has set its-self is to convince at least one council that 'reuse' should be a compulsory element of any tender process and that whoever wins the tender is required to engage with local social enterprises and 'give' them any items that can be reused, especially when it involves the refurbishment or demolition of buildings that have social history.”

With the bedroom sets they were setting aside for reuse, Total Reuse launched a Facebook campaign to supply bedroom furniture to local children in need – and the team were staggered by the numbers of disadvantaged families struggling to afford to provide or replace bedroom furniture for their children.

Although Total Reuse operate throughout the region, everything reusable comes back to Lancashire with the majority being redistributed to Lancashire-based beneficiaries on low incomes reducing material poverty across our area.

 David Hampson from EMR Group who sponsored the award said:  ‘Total Reuse not only provides an extremely valuable community service, but is also a great example of recycling in its most basic form.  We are always happy to support the Red Rose Resource Awards and are delighted to see such an innovative social enterprise receive praise as winners of the 2014 Best New Project Award.’