Southwark Council is working with the British Heart Foundation shop in Old Kent Road to trial an innovative furniture reuse partnership.
The council, through its recycling and waste partners, Veolia Environmental Services, has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation to give them access to all the unwanted furniture and electrical items in the borough that currently go to the Household Waste, Reuse and Recycling Centre at Manor Place in Walworth.
It's hoped that they can be given a new lease of life at the British Heart Foundation's Furniture and Electrical (F&E) store on the Old Kent Road.
"It makes so much sense to be working with the British Heart Foundation in this way," says Cllr Paul Kyriacou, executive member for the environment.
"If we can encourage the reuse of goods before we choose to recycle them, then this is a much more efficient way to get more life out of our furniture and household goods. It's also great to be working with a charity such as this one, which does such great work locally and nationally."
It is the first time that this national charity has worked with a UK local authority in this way and the intention is that the scheme will not only encourage more people to think about reusing their unwanted goods, but will also generate money for a great cause at the same time.
Currently Southwark residents can bring unwanted items of furniture to the Household Waste, Reuse and Recycling Centre at Manor Place with all items suitable for recycling passed to reprocessors.
Now the British Heart Foundation is being given regular access to Manor Place so that they can cherry pick items that are in good condition or that can be reconditioned. These are then collected and taken to be sold in the British Heart Foundation's specialist F&E store.
All funds made from sales of the furniture and electrical items will go towards helping the British Heart Foundation to fund research, patient care and life saving equipment in the fight against heart disease which continues to be the nation's biggest killer.
"Coronary heart disease claims around 91,000 lives each year," says Marek Hernik who manages the BHF shop on Old Kent Road.
"Our store raises vital funds each year to support the charity's work in combating this, but we have also helped a lot of people in South London to furnish their homes. We can also collect items free of charge and I would ask anyone having a clearout to think of us first."
• British Heart Foundation's furniture and electrical store is at 211-219 Old Kent Road, SE1 5LU. Free collection can be arranged by calling 0844 499 4164
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