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Large Scale Upcycling: Free Paint 4 Hackney reclaims thousands of litres from landfills

Upcycling is a topic we have covered many times on the Terry’s Blinds blog, most recently with our upcycling glass infographic, as well as our upcycling with pallets infographic. Yet upcycling isn’t just something for craft and hobby enthusiasts, when adopted properly it can make a huge impact, saving a significant amount of waste from landfills.

The key is scale, something that The Forest Recycling Project (FRP) understands all too well. Their  ‘Free Paint 4 Hackney’ scheme has managed to save 10,000 litres of paint from landfills and is currently donating it to community groups and social enterprises in the London Borough of Hackney. The free paint initiative, sponsored by Comic Relief, aims to improve community spaces and help those who are experiencing socio-economic disadvantages.

So this project not only ensures that toxic paint isn’t just dumped at the local tip, it is also having the added benefit of being used to benefit vulnerable individuals by improving their local communities.

Adrian Eaves, director of the The Hoxton Trust, a community founded charity, said “We’ve wanted to renovate this space for a long time, but we just didn’t have the budget. We came across the Paint 4 Hackney Initiative in November and applied straight away!

We think that the free paint scheme is brilliant, especially for a borough like Hackney, which is now seeing a lot of new & exciting community developments. Organisations will definitely make use of the paint.

This project has had a significant impact on the Hackney area, with The Hoxton Trust now being able to make better use of their properties for the rejuvenation of the area. Shops have been renovated, reception areas  redecorated and training facilities completely transformed, making them now fit for use by the Hackney community. Mr Eaves estimates that the trust may have lost up to £120,000 due to the poor and unusable condition of the area in the past.

This project just goes to show that upcycling when implemented on a large scale isn’t just about reusing seemingly useless items for fun. It can also be part of a project that a community can benefit from, by gaining access to materials they cannot afford and by preventing useful materials from being sent to a waste disposal site.

FRP have set the standard for large scale upcycling but there is definitely additional upcycling projects that could be undertaken. A fabric drive could be held to gather clothing for vulnerable families or pallets could be upcycled from warehouses to make bed frames for families without bedroom furniture. If the FRP project has inspired you to start your own upcycling project or for more information about ‘Free Paint 4 Hackney’ then please let Nicole know, via Email.

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