Charles Craft, managing director of LCRN’s commercial arm London Re-use Ltd, was interviewed on BBC London’s Breakfast programme by Penny Smith and Paul Ross recently about the repair and re-use of WEEE and Appliances.
Why would anyone bother to repair goods like toasters or kettles which are so cheap anyway, asked Ross?
Craft believes Londoners are changing.
“People are making lifestyle choices,” he said. “There is a growing appetite for repair and re-use.”
Craft explained: “there is also a social aspect to the re-use business”.
“We train people who have been unemployed long term to repair these goods and for every £1 spent, the social value to Londoners is around £2.47.”
Craft also mentioned the re-use of computers.
“Companies within our network will take broken or old computers, repair them and use them for training purposes or sell them very cheaply to housing associations or other charities to give to those who cannot afford new machines.”
And it is not just small electrical goods.
The London Re-use network has workshops where it repairs upscale white goods such as dishwashers, fridges and washing machines.
And these are then sold to the public with a one-year guarantee.
So for about £140, customers can have a washing machine which would have cost them three times as much new – and with a guarantee.
Craft added the priority was to ensure network members took full advantage of this initiative and also to encourage other charity retailers to take the refurbished and warranted appliances.
At least 10% of goods which are disposed of through current methods are re-useable. Put through the Network this can rise to 40% or even 50%.
Can Londoners give their unwanted goods to your organisation, asked Ross?
Yes, please, said Craft. “They can contact us, or our partner schemes, through www.londonreuse.org or 020 7324 4627.”