Charity wins £164,000 funding boost

Castle Furniture in Cupar is expanding its business.
Castle Furniture in Cupar is expanding its business.

A CUPAR-based recycling charity that helps some of the most vulnerable people in north east Fife has been given a major cash boost by the Scottish Government.

Castle Furniture Project, set up 20 years ago, has been awarded £164,273 from the Enterprise Growth Fund to help promote recycling across Fife and Perth and Kinross.

The money will be used to develop the project’s household doorstep collection, repair, refurbishment and re-use of heavy domestic appliances such as cookers, washing machines and fridges as well as enable it to open a new centre in Perth.

Each year in Fife alone households dump over 9500 heavy domestic appliances, which equates to almost 440 tonnes of potential waste going to landfill.

Only a fraction of broken, unwanted or abandoned cookers, fridge freezers, dishwashers, dryers and other appliances are being recycled, repaired and re-used.

Last year, Castle piloted a small-scale experiment which succeeded in recycling and promoting re-use of 652 heavy domestic appliances, the re-sale of which generated over £28,000.

WILLINGNESS

Towards the end of last year, in a bid to reduce the number of appliances destined for landfill and promote increased re-use, the project launched its household doorstep domestic appliances collection service with the help of funding from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE), which was set up by manufacturers.

Castle’s project manager Silv Ingram said: “Our experiences from last year’s pilots demonstrate a willingness among the general public to promote the recycling and re-use of unwanted appliances when doing so is made as simple as making a single telephone call.

“This year we aim to increase the number of broken, unwanted or abandoned appliances available for re-use to over 3000, a 400 per cent increase on last year’s pilot.

“This means that almost 150 tonnes of domestic appliances will no longer potentially end up in landfill.”

To cope with the increased workload, Castle has opened a dedicated facility in Glenrothes which will be open to the public in June.

“As well as creating a number of new jobs, it will also provide training and work experience to up to 50 unemployed Fifers.

The funding will also enable Castle to open a 10,000 sq ft recycling and re-use centre in Perth, which will provide an additional sales outlet for unwanted furniture, refurbished domestic appliances and recycled paint as well as a ‘one stop shop’ information point to the general public on all aspects of recycling and re-use.