Re-use social enterprise aims higher to reduce waste

Crop total homes sofa recycling logo-2

They aim to address the amount of household waste going to landfill in order to contribute towards the circular economy in Scotland

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7th June 2019 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

A new reuse business has been launched by two Glasgow based social enterprises.

Total Homes Co-operative – formed from Connect Community Trust and 2nd Opportunities - makes properties ready for new tenants for housing associations, landlords and private property businesses across the city.

A removal and cleaning service with a difference, Total Homes aims to save 80% of items saved from the properties by reusing, recycling or upcycling what they can.

They aim to address the amount of household waste going to landfill in order to contribute towards the circular economy in Scotland.

Supported as part of the Zero Waste Scotland’s Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, Total Homes is funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund to provide their environmentally conscious service.

Pauline Smith, director of Total Homes Co-operative, said: “We are so happy that our service has now launched and is starting to show the environmental savings for Glasgow City and beyond. 

“The investment from Zero Waste Scotland has allowed us to create a business that transforms the way items are currently disposed of from vacant housing association and local authority properties. 80% of items which we take out, such as furniture, small electricals, kitchen utensils, textiles and toys, will be re-used to support people being re-homed or simply providing an afford ​able way to refurnish their home.

We are saving tonnes of household waste going to landfill and dealing with the waste in a socially responsible way.

“This service embraces the vision for a circular economy. When we clear properties, items are tested, repaired, cleaned or upcycled and continue in use instead of being landfilled. The members of Total Homes Co-operative have a passion for re-use and recycling; no items will ever be looked upon as waste, but as having potential. 

“We ​are already ​working with councils and housing associations and ​are excited about working with more in the future.  ​We can already see the impact of the service helping to make great bounds towards a ‘zero waste’ Scotland” ​and the more clients we work with the bigger the impact."

Now the organisation is looking to the future, aiming to replicate the success they had with early buy ins to the project, and opening up to the private as well as public sector businesses that operate in the housing industry.

Total Homes launched its new campaign, Let’s Aim Higher, on World Environmental Day, June 5.

The campaign looks to encourage property businesses, housing associations and landlords to “aim higher” and “save time, money AND the planet.”

The co-operative is offering a discount on furniture to furnish properties after using their removals service for the first time.

Jim Williams, maintenance manager of Queens Cross Housing Association, said: “Queens Cross Housing Association is proud to work with Total Homes Co-operative. As a forward thinking Housing Association, we aim to stay ahead of the curve, and follow a green agenda. Total Homes helps us achieve this as well as demonstrating value for money.  

“By supporting them and using their services, we’re becoming more sustainable and leading by example in our industry.”

Further information on Total Homes can be found here.