Furniture re-use enterprise scoops top award

A partnership between two charities, a social enterprise and Leeds City Council that turns trash into treasure has been named the region’s best environmental start-up at the Yorkshire Post’s environment awards 2012.

Revive Leeds picked up the award at a ceremony last night to celebrate the efforts of schools, businesses, community groups and individuals who’ve made exceptional progress in going green.

Based at the East Leeds household waste sorting site, Revive Leeds are working with the council to gather up good quality items that would otherwise be thrown away. Donations of unwanted household goods from the public are also collected at the refurbished site.

Furniture, tested electrical goods and other household items are sold at affordable prices, beating high street costs. As Revive has been set up as a community interest company, any profits are ploughed straight back into the organisations supporting local people.

The organisations that make up Revive Leeds are: Emmaus, a charity helping the homeless; St Vincent de Paul, a charity helping alleviate poverty; and South Leeds Alternative Trading Enterprise (SLATE), a social enterprise designed to support people with learning disabilities.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environment services said:“I’d like to offer huge congratulations to everyone involved in Revive Leeds – staff, volunteers and council employees alike.

“It’s a simple idea that offers many social, financial and environmental benefits.

“There’s a great feel-good factor at the shop as people know their stuff is going to help a great cause, residents can buy low cost quality goods, people are gaining vital skills volunteering at the shop and we know that we’re helping to make a dent in Leeds’ emissions and landfill tax bills.

“It’s a win-win-win-win situation all round.”

Ali Ward, Chair of Revive Leeds said:
“Revive is still a young organisation but we’ve come a long way in such a short time. The award/being shortlisted is an amazing acknowledgement of all the hard work that people have put in so far. At the risk of sounding like I’m accepting an Oscar, I’d like to thank everyone who has helped make this happen.

“Resident’s are really getting into the idea that their old items aren’t just rubbish any more, that there is actually value in them and we’re really grateful to people who are now seeking us out with donations.”

Since opening in August 2011, Revive Leeds has stopped 47.5 tonnes of waste going to landfill and have sold thousands of items.

So far, 114 local volunteers have clocked up 1,281 hours helping out at the shop.
Whilst sorting stock and dealing with customers, volunteers get a greater understanding of the benefits of going green and recycling. The on the job training the Revive team provide helps people build a sound work ethic too, helping them as they go on to independent lives.

The shop is based at East Leeds Household Waste Sorting Site, Limewood Road, Seacroft, Leeds, LS14 1LU. The shop is open seven days a week, 9am to 5.30pm from April to October and 9am to 3.30pm from November to March.

They welcome donations of furniture, electrical items in working order such as tumble dryers, TVs, stereos, DVD players, household items, clothing, bedding and bric-a-brac.

You can follow Revive Leeds on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information on re-use and how to waste less visit www.leeds.gov.uk/recycleforleeds

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 5177
e-mail: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk