Remade Meeting 13

Remade in Brixton meeting

Wednesday 18 November

7-9.30pm at the Trinity Arms, 45 Trinity Gardens, London SW9 8DR

This meeting was a chance to focus on the bigger picture – how Remade in Brixton could be part of an integrated resource network across London. We were joined by Richard Featherstone from London Community Resource Network, which provides support to local third-sector reuse and recycling organisations throughout London. Richard co-ordinates the London Reuse Network project, which aims to build the capacity of the reuse sector so that it can play a more significant role in making London a zero waste city. He is currently putting together a funding bid to London Waste and Recycling Board (LWaRB) to help do this, and is seeking input from partner organisations like us.

Richard gave us a presentation on LCRN’s Reuse Framework for London proposal and had a chat about how our projects might fit into the framework. You can download his presentation here: [scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ReuseFramework_29_oct_rf_new_logo_final_Compatibility_Mode.pdf]

A key issue that arose was that Remade in Brixton does not aim to become an organisation that delivers a full range of local reuse and recycling services itself, but instead wants to facilitate the development of various local enterprises / organisations that will be able to deal with different waste streams and create employment. This led Richard to propose that we set ourselves up as a membership organisation – a bit like LCRN itself but at a local level. He said that there is a gap in LCRN’s provision for start-up support – they tend to work with already established reuse organisations rather than new ones. He suggested that we might position ourselves (in partnership with other organisations that provide start-up and innovation support) as a membership organisation for start-up or early stage local reuse / recycling enterprises. Like LCRN, we could be the ‘eyes and ears’ of reuse start-ups, help small organisations to work strategically, apply for funding on behalf of the sector, etc.

In London there is currently only one reuse project per 240,000 people, so there is definitely room for more!

The proposed Reuse Framework for London sets out to organise existing reuse organisations into a 3-tier system:

  • ‘Bases’: large warehouse spaces, collect large volumes and big items
  • ‘Hubs’: medium-sized reuse organisations with elements of repair, design and remanufacturing facilities
  • ‘Outlets’: small spaces located in communities – charity shops or similar – getting reused items out to the people who need them

Remade in Brixton’s proposed ‘Transition Workshop’ (repair, reuse and training centre) would fit into the Hub category. (Although our nearest ‘Base’ is currently proposed to be ARC in Croydon so we might want to aim to develop one of those nearby too?)

Our nearest ‘Hubs’ will be FAST in Oval, Emmaus in West Norwood, and a new reuse / refurb centre that Western Riverside Waste Authority propose to develop at Smugglers Way in Wandsworth. It was suggested that we visit FAST and Emmaus to understand what they currently offer and how we can provide a complementary offering.

If we want to become part of the Reuse Framework for London we need to move fast and get a proposal and budget for the Transition Workshop to Richard by Christmas (LCRN are aiming to get their funding bid into LWaRB by March). We may decide we are not ready for this yet but it would be a good opportunity to be part of a joint funding bid and to be linked into a wider reuse network.

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