An upcycling initiative in Brixton is demonstrating how the circular economy can work on a local scale, benefiting both the environment and the local community. Supported through Veolia Lambeth’s Recycling Fund for Communities, discarded wood pallets have been collected from Brixton market by social enterprise InUse-ReUse, and transformed into bespoke benches for Slade Gardens in Stockwell, less than a mile down the road from where the pallets were first used.
InUse-ReUse collect pallets locally and divert them from the general waste steam, where they are instead reused, up-cycled into furniture or recycled. For this project they used funding from Veolia and teamed up with Urban Growth, who received funding from the Mayor of London to create a community gardening hub for growing food and plants at Slade Gardens Adventure Playground.
The funding from Veolia enabled the build and install of hand-crafted pallet benches, compost bins and fencing. Veolia also donated 5000 litres of peat-free Pro Grow compost for the gardens, which is produced from London’s food and garden waste – another prime example of circularity.
Steve Verrier, Senior Contract Manager at Veolia Lambeth said:
“It’s encouraging to see locals finding ways to reuse and recycle instead of throwing something away. Positive waste behaviours and creating circular solutions make a big difference to our environment, and we’re so pleased that through our Recycling Fund for Communities, we’re enabling people to do the right thing with Lambeth’s waste.”
Dennis Boateng, founder of InUse-ReUse said:
“We thrive on finding projects that have an emphasis on the circular economy, and this particular project supported by Veolia Lambeth’s Recycling Fund for Communities has enabled us to push wood waste higher up the recycling hierarchy. With over 60 parks and green spaces in the borough of Lambeth, there is scope to replicate this project in other locations, which will in turn increase the use of local resources.” says Dennis Boateng,
InUse-ReUse founder. Since 2018, almost £12,000 and 9,000 litres of compost have been donated to 13 Lambeth projects that tackle environmental issues. If you have an idea for a community project in Lambeth that has a positive impact on the environment, find out how your project could be funded at veolia.co.uk/london/recycling-fund-communities
About Veolia’s Recycling Fund for Communities
Funding is available for community projects that are based in London boroughs where Veolia operates. To be
eligible, an applicant’s project must demonstrate a positive impact on the environment through:
● Its use of recycled, reused or reclaimed materials
● Its ability to protect and preserve resources
● Its enhancement of local environments.
Our standard pledge amount is a maximum of £1000. To help reduce plastic waste and encourage recycling within
our communities, environmental projects that deliver a positive impact on plastic†waste†could be eligible for
additional Plastic Pledge funding, which has a maximum pledge amount of £2000 per project.
More information can be found at https://www.veolia.co.uk/london/recycling-fund-communities
About InUse ReUse
InUse-ReUse is a social enterprise that manages the collection of pallets and wood waste in street markets
and diverts them to either be recycled, reused or up-cycled into furniture.
Since inception, they have distributed over 3,500 pallets back to suppliers to be reused. Over 3 tonnes of
wood waste has been diverted from landfill and sent to recycling plant and over 100 pallets have been used to
More information can be found at https://www.inuse-reuse.co.uk/
About Urban Growth
Urban Growth is a social enterprise that improves Londoners’ well-being by collaborating with them to create &
maintain beautiful, biodiverse spaces. They design, install and maintain community gardens, public spaces,
indoor gardens and food growing spaces; and involve community groups, dining and retail sectors, housing
providers and local government in their projects.
More information can be found at https://urbangrowth.london/