7 August 2020 by James Langley

Re-use shops report varying levels of donations

Suffolk residents have been urged to donate ‘quality items’ to re-use shops in Foxhall and Bury St Edmunds as part of a visit to the region’s recycling centres.

FCC Environment, the waste management company that runs the shops in Suffolk, says that since the re-opening of the shops there has been a decline in the donation of good quality ‘pre-loved’ items.

However, this does not seem to be the case across the country, as re-use shops in Warwickshire have reported a gradual increase in donations since they reopened on 15 June.

Suffolk

Rory Brien, general manager of materials trading at FCC Environment, said: “We were delighted to be able to re-open both shops to the public and residents are indeed coming back into the shops to ‘bag a bargain’ but we have seen a real drop in the volume of good quality items which we can make available in the shops.”

The re-use shop in Bury St Edmunds

Mr Brien added that while donations could not be made directly to the two shops, there was a clearly marked re-use area at all FCC Environment’s 11 recycling centres across Suffolk where pre-loved items could be left.

The re-use shops at Foxhall and Bury St Edmunds are part of a partnership between Suffolk County Council, FCC Environment and charity The Benjamin Foundation, which works to prevent youth homelessness.

Warwickshire

Meanwhile, three of the eight Age UK reuse shops in Coventry and Warwickshire reopened on 15 June. These shops are co-located with recycling centres at Lower House Farm in North Warwickshire, Princes Drive in Leamington and Hunters Lane in Rugby and have reported no fall in donations since reopening.

One of Warwickshire’s eight re-use shops

A spokesperson for the Warwickshire county council waste management team told letsrecycle.com: “During the period that all shops were shut, and still at the sites where shops have yet to re-open, the HWRCs have been accepting good quality donations of a selection of item types and passing them to the charity.

“Now that some shops have re-opened, donations have increased and there is enough to stock the three open shops.

“More donations of good quality items would of course be welcomed. We can move items around sites to offer a good range at each and can use the still-closed shops to store excess.”

Donations

Donations of furniture, electrical items, bicycles, sports equipment, tools and garden equipment would be most welcomed by the shops, the spokesperson said.

They added there were risk-assessed measures in place at each shop to ensure that donations and purchases can be made within safe social distancing.

Donation points are separate from the retail part of the shops. Donations are quarantined for 72 hours, before routine testing and then placing on to the shop floor. The shop and site staff can advise the public if an item is suitable for donation, the spokesperson said.

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