Leicester City Council supports Community Support Grant with Pass It On furniture scheme

From Leicester City Council:

A pilot project that helps find new homes for unwanted furniture has helped the city council save over £20,000 in its first two months.

Called ‘Pass It On’, the trial scheme allows people living in Leicester to have unwanted bulky household items collected for free.

If the items are in good condition, the city council will help pass them on to someone who can reuse them.

The scheme has been launched to run alongside the city council’s community support grant. The grant is aimed at people in receipt of benefits or tax credits who need essential household items to help set up home in a new tenancy. It also provides emergency support to help people facing financial crisis.

By reusing unwanted furniture and other household goods rather than having to spend on new items, the city council aims to maximise the amount of crisis support available from the community support grant fund.

It also wants to further reduce the amount of household waste that goes to landfill.

Currently, the city council is targeting around five per cent of requests for a city council bulk collection as part of the Pass It On pilot. People requesting a collection will be asked if they are happy for their unwanted items to be reused. Any items donated in this way will be checked to ensure that they are in good condition before being offered for reuse.

Anyone in receipt of a community support grant can then view the furniture available, and any items selected will be delivered to their new home free of charge.

In the first nine weeks of the pilot – which launched at the beginning of October – over 200 household items have found a new home under the scheme. This has helped the city council save around £20,000 which would have otherwise been spent through the community support grants fund, and seen the equivalent of 5.9 tonnes of waste diverted from landfill.

Cllr Sarah Russell, Assistant City Mayor for neighbourhood services, said: “The Pass It On pilot is still in its very early days but the data and feedback we’ve had so far is really encouraging.

“Even with the very small proportion of bulk collections that we’re targeting in the trial period, we’re already reducing the call on our community support grant by around £10,000 a month and reducing our landfill charges.

“It’s a really simple concept – if someone wants to get rid of a piece of furniture or other household item and it’s in good condition, let’s make it available for someone else to use. It’s incredible to think that in just two months, the scheme has already saved almost six tonnes of perfectly reusable furniture from going to waste.

“We’ll continue to monitor the trial until early next summer. In the meantime, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has so enthusiastically donated their unwanted furniture to the scheme so far.”

The Pass It On scheme is being piloted as part of a range of improvements to recycling and waste services being proposed as part the city council’s successful bid for £3.5milllion from the government’s weekly collection support fund.

An update on the Pass It On pilot scheme will be given to Leicester City Council’s Neighbourhood Services and Community Involvement Scrutiny Commission at its next meeting on Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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