Third sector focus turns to furniture collections

Community recycling groups are operating “fewer kerbside collections” as more and more private sector waste management companies add the service to local authority contracts, members of the third sector have claimed.

Representatives of the community sector claimed that there had been some “rationalising” in the sector, leading to a number of projects either stopping, heading towards closure or being amalgamated into other ventures. They claimed that community groups were increasingly turning to running other reuse and recycling initiatives to compensate for waste management and recycling companies taking over the kerbside collections which had previously been run by third sector organisations.

Paul Smith, chief executive of the Furniture Reuse Network, said: “…think it is the private sector seeing it as a good idea and they have been able to include it in their contracts. In terms of furniture we are getting an increasing number of councils which are building furniture reuse into their contracts so it means we will be working with the Viridor’s of the world on certain bits of a contract,” he added.

Acknowledging the increasing trend of private sector companies adding provisions for kerbside collections into their local authority contracts, Mal Williams, chief executive of Welsh third sector organisation Cylch, expressed concern about the impact this was having on community sector efforts. “I should say that I am happy that somebody is doing the kerbside sorting but I am not. My main focus is kerbside sort. And I think we are missing the point; the point is that the community sector is run by people who don’t come at it for profit and they want to do good for the community at a cost the community can bear.”

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