diverts waste lighting

Warehouse redevelopment diverts waste to create environmental and social value

Project Overview

Leading fit out, refurbishment and technical services specialist Ambit, is the main contractor on a large commercial development in Clerkenwell, London which is delivering a redevelopment and extension of four former warehouse buildings to provide quality workspaces, communal terraces and mixed-use spaces for shops, retail and cafes.

With sustainability and reducing carbon at the heart of the redevelopment project, Ambit and Encore Environment worked together to identify a large number of existing materials within the buildings that were surplus to requirements including lighting, fixtures and fittings, furniture and white goods. In fact, over 6.1 tonnes of materials were classed as reusable, clean and fit for purpose.

To ensure they didn’t go through the traditional routes of disposal, which could have meant going into mixed use skips, the team at Ambit engaged with Encore Environment to implement its Project DIVERT initiative, to connect the unwanted items to local charities that could put them to good use and keep them in the circular economy! From Project DIVERT’s unique database of charities, social enterprises and community groups across the UK, a successful connection was made with five charities who needed items on the divert list!

Lighting the way for vulnerable young people

Numerous lighting fixtures and fittings including LED, strip, pendant, spotlights and LED wall lights were packaged ready for transport to TOKKO, a small charity in the heart of Luton which helps vulnerable young people with a range of complex social issues.

Hazel Mellon, TOKKO Business Manager, said: “The task of looking at how we could fund replacing our old uneconomical ballast and battery lighting for LED lighting is a huge one; especially financially where there is very limited budget for this work. Our restricted funds need to be spent on making a difference to vulnerable young people. This is where Project DIVERT came in to help, through their amazing project they have been able to source surplus LED lighting which was destined for landfill and arrange for it to be delivered to the charity to replace and upgrade our existing lighting across the whole building. This will not only be more environmentally friendly – something we and young people are passionate about – but also reduce our ongoing running and maintenance costs.”

“A huge thank you to Encore Environment, Project DIVERT and it’s amazing partners who through their kindness and generosity are making a difference to small but vital charities like ours.”

Essential items for people in need

A further long list of more than 70 items and a full pallet of carpet tiles were donated to Spencer Contact, a Christian charity working to relieve those in poverty and hardship in and around Northampton by supplying free second-hand furniture. The donation included tables, chairs, shelving, astroturf, storage units and white goods.

Esther at Spencer Contact said: “Many thanks to your client for their practical donation towards this charity and importantly, the people in need within our town. It really does make a difference to us, whether it’s an item to be given away free of charge or sold to raise funds for this charity, everything makes a difference. For so many it is the new start and support that they need, especially as times seem to be getting harder for everyone. We have noticed that donations of furniture have slowed down a little in recent months, so the items through

Project DIVERT have been a huge encouragement to us and is helping us to fulfill orders for those in need.”

Supporting community groups

W5 Church, also based in Northampton received carpet tiles, shelving, kitchenware, and doors including a security door with a 5 bolt.

“This has made a huge difference to our space in the town centre, said Timothy Adelegan, from W5 Church. It is a registered place of worship and also a D3 community centre space where we have youth groups, play groups, mums and tots, community cafe, feeding of the homeless, university student events and other social and community activities.”

The Building Crafts College in London is another beneficiary which received a range of white goods including two fridges and three dishwashers! As the leading provider of construction crafts education in the UK working with full time students, apprentices and degree students, they will certainly be putting them to good use while they study!

Additionally, furniture was supplied to Shop From Crisis that works directly with thousands of homeless people every year. They provide vital help so that people can rebuild their lives and are supported out of homelessness for good. The specific items were sold in their shop to raise money for the charity. Joe Powley, from Shop From Crisis said “The furniture we received from Project DIVERT was delivered promptly and in great condition. It was an immediate hit in the shop and sold very quickly raising valuable funds for Crisis and helping us towards our goal of ending homelessness in Britain.”

What an incredible Project DIVERT!

The results speak for themselves. Over £2.6k has been saved in waste costs, over 10,000kg of carbon has been saved, 6.1 tonnes of materials have been diverted, 100% diversion from landfill and traditional disposal routes and absolutely ‘Priceless’, the social value created when supporting organisations helping others.

Rachel Rowley, managing director at Encore Environment: “Our aim with every Project DIVERT is to create positive social impacts for community groups that need support and to help the environment by stopping reusable waste from entering the waste stream in the first place. It is a simple sustainability-led decision that can be made at the beginning of a refurbishment project (because early intervention is the key) and just look at the impact it can have! Our client Ambit has such a strong commitment and approach to sustainability, we are so proud to have been involved and facilitate this for them.

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