The initiative, run in partnership with Refresh Appliances Ltd, will ensure old, unwanted appliances are renewed and reused. The scheme is currently operating at three of the Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres – Magherafelt, Maghera and Castledawson – with plans to extend the scheme to all other sites in the new year (except for Ballymacombs which doesn’t accept electrical items).
Based in Newtownards, Refresh Appliances is a social enterprise business established in 2013 with a pledge to reduce waste, improve the environment and help young people gain truly valuable skills in a growing industry.
Refresh Appliances offer economical and affordable remanufactured white goods to the general public, landlords and charities, while providing essential employment and training for young people.
Instead of recycling these large appliances, the company refurbish the goods and restore them to a high standard before making them available for resale, with a warranty and free delivery and installation, at a fraction of the original purchase price. All profits are invested back into the social enterprise business which allows further opportunities for employment and training.
While only three recycling centres in the district offer the initiative currently, with remaining centres, except Ballymacombs, following suit in the new year, residents can still dispose of their unwanted white goods at all other council recycling centres (except Ballymacombs) or request a collection as part of the Council’s Bulky Household Collection service. These items are also then made available for collection by Refresh Appliances.
This new ‘Recycle – Refresh - Renewed’ initiative not only helps to reduce waste but repairing and reusing these appliances uses less energy and is even better for the environment than recycling. It creates less pollution and overall will help the Council reduce its carbon footprint.
Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Sean McGuigan, is supportive of the campaign and is encouraging all residents across Mid Ulster with old electrical appliances suitable for reuse to utilise the initiative.
“With Mid Ulster District Council consistently one of the top performing Councils for recycling in Northern Ireland, it is clear to see our residents are committed to looking after the environment in which we live. However, there is always more we can do, especially with the importance of reducing our carbon footprint to fight the challenges faced from climate change. You can help to make a difference by choosing to reuse your old electrical white goods whilst also benefiting the local community and economy.”
Ian Story, Operations Manager at Refresh Appliances, added:“We are pleased to partner with Mid Ulster District Council to introduce the Refresh scheme to the area. We know many people would like to offer their unwanted white goods for reuse but a gap in the market in the Mid Ulster area has created a barrier to putting these thoughts into actions up until now. We are eager to continue collecting items from Mid Ulster Recycling Sites and undertake repairs and refurbishment as necessary to allow resale.