The Re-users opened its doors this month, under the management of the employment and skills charity The Jericho Foundation, selling items no longer wanted by Birmingham citizens that had previously been sent to the Norris Way centre for recycling or disposal.
The project has been developed in partnership between Birmingham City Council and Jericho and supported by the city council’s waste management partner Veolia.
Staff from Jericho will collect useable items that are brought to them by willing members of the public who visit the site. Jericho employees will then restore, prepare and ultimately re-sell items that come into their possession from a unit at the site.
A wide range of items from bikes to televisions to cabinets will be accepted by The Re-users, which is currently refurbishing an un-used building on the site to act as its premises.
Cllr James McKay, Cabinet Member for a Green, Safe and Smart City at Birmingham City Council, said: “We are always looking for innovative ways to reuse materials and reduce the amount of waste the city generates – so this project is really great news.
“By working with the Jericho Foundation, we have a partner with the same environmental ambitions as the council, and who also shares our determination to create jobs and training opportunities, not only through its wider work but through its operation on the site.
“Anyone who goes to Norris Way should stop off at The Re-users before disposing of their waste, as it could be bought by someone in much greater need than themselves.”
Pete Smallwood of The Jericho Foundation added: “Jericho’s mission is to work with disadvantaged individuals and help them overcome barriers that stop them from becoming fulfilled skilled and employed.
“This new social enterprise will provide opportunities for paid and voluntary work experience as well as providing a service for local people to shop, donate and create from waste.”
Veolia’s existing onsite staff will help their counterparts from Jericho by encouraging visitors to Norris Way to consider dropping off their items with The Re-users.
Mark Heesom, General Manager for Veolia in Birmingham, said: “Veolia is committed to providing the best possible service to our customers, to minimising environmental impacts and to working with local community groups in a sustainable way.
“I am delighted that we have delivered this scheme as it is a clear win for the environment, our users, customers and many people who will benefit from the training opportunities presented. This demonstrates how we work with and support the voluntary sector and look forward to the scheme going from strength to strength.”
Notes to editors
1. Items that can be taken The Re-users are:
- electrical goods (PAT tested)
- garden tools
- general household/garden goods/objects
2. The Jericho Foundation is a registered charity (number 1037084) and a company limited by guarantee (number 2845852). It has offices in Birmingham and employs around 50 full and part time staff.
Its mission is to work with disadvantaged individuals and help them overcome barriers and become fulfilled, skilled and employed.
The foundation runs a broad range of outreach, training and employment related programmes which are funded via a combination of public sector contracts and grants from grant making trusts, corporate donors and individuals.
It helps people overcome their barriers by providing a combination of advice, guidance, training and supported work experience which is tailored to each individual’s specific needs.
This will include programmes that help build social skills, increase levels of confidence, self-esteem and motivation as well as developing literacy, numeracy, technical and work related skills.
Over 50 per cent of clients move into sustainable employment or full time training when they leave Jericho.
The Re-users is Jericho’s eighth social enterprise. The other seven offer goods and services in the following areas: landscaping and grounds maintenance, construction, printing, catering, cleaning, retail, and recycling. Jericho aims to change lives through sustainable enterprise.