Delivering a Service Model for Bulky Item Reuse

Project Overview

It is estimated that 1.2 million potentially reusable bulky items are thrown out every year. Reusing these items instead of recycling or disposing of them would save a significant amount of money, carbon emissions and natural resources. 

While interest in reuse is increasing in some areas, State involvement in reuse or recycling of bulky items remains at a low level. Through this project, CRNI would like to design value propositions and a viable business model that will encourage State agencies (and eventually other private organisations) to donate unwanted bulky items for reuse or community recycling, where reuse is not possible.  

This research project is funded by the EPA under the Green Enterprise programme and will run from July 2018 to April 2019.

Expected Outcomes

The business model(s) will build on the emerging matching services provided by SMILE Exchange, integrating where possible services provided by other exchanges such as PREP and other reuse / recycling organisations.

The opportunities identified in the business model(s) will aim to overcome common barriers facing these services, which may include short turnaround times, costs and any specific service expectations.

If successful, it would represent an important opportunity to stimulate an uptake of reuse activities / opportunities by different State agencies and potentially other private organisations. 

Findings to date

So far in the project, all of the background research has been completed and a very broad range of stakeholders contacted. Initial models have also been developed, and tested at three workshops in Cork, Dublin and Sligo.

We are grateful to all those who attended the workshops and gave their feedback on the project.

Research Questions:

Research questions include, for example:

  • What sort of unwanted bulky items are we looking at?
  • Who has these items but no longer needs them?
  • What do they do with them when they do not want them?
  • Who might want them for re-use?
  • For what purpose are they wanted, direct re-use, upcycling, charity?
  • How might it be transported from donor to recipient?
  • What if there is a time lag between generation and requirement?
  • Where can items be stored?

Contact Us:

If you are interested in finding out more about this project, or wish to become involved, please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.

Contact Rosemarie MacSweeney, Project Manager, via email: [email protected] or phone 085 853 1730.

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