Think Sustainability

Recyclear - North Walls Move

How do you clear a large building of 52 rooms leaving it ready for sale? What’s the best way to remove all the unwanted furniture, equipment and clutter?   And how could we do this to support HCC’s sustainability agenda?

These were the questions facing our project team when HCC’s Library Headquarters moved to new premises in July 2008.  A lot of shelving and furniture was to be reused at the new premises – but what about the rest?

In-house actions

  • The first action was to redistribute unwanted furniture/equipment  around libraries and museums.

  • Paper was collected and recycled through a pulp collection company.

Removals contractor

A key element in the selection criteria of our tender process was a sustainable disposals policy within a competitive pricing framework.  The successful bidder, exceeded our expectations in offering the following services:

1. Furniture assessed for resale.

2. Redundant furniture was separated into components

3. The company sent the components to specialist recycling facilities:

  • All salvageable metals to a scrap metal merchant

  • Clean wood to a timber mill

  • Laminates, melamine and chip board  to a specialist re-processor for shredding and conversion into bio-mass for incineration at a power station boiler

4. Audited documentation certifying the volume of the furniture disposed of, and percentages for each recycled and re-used component part was provided.

Results

Waste graph

The whole process created a total weight of 13,331 kg of wood, metal and waste transfer going to recycling, and creating bio-mass fuel.  On top of this, approximately 500 boxes of paper were recycled.

It’s important to stress that this process comes at a price - in this case in the region of £5,000 over a landfill option.  It is vital that budgets allow the necessary funds to support the county’s commitment to the green agenda.

Note: 13 tonnes of waste going to landfill, would have cost £416 in Landfill Tax (based on £32/tonne, which will be increasing by £8/tonne/year from 2009).