Last Friday I was invited to look around Circulate in my role as Deputy Mayor. I had heard of Circulate, as it's part of the Garnsychan Partnership, but I had no idea how diverse the work they do is, and I was so impressed with what they offer! Circulate is a furniture recycling operation based in Unit 14 on the Gilchrist Thomas Industrial Estate in Blaenavon. In their own words:
Circulate provides a FREE collection service within Torfaen for all unwanted bulky household waste. We collect items such as sofas, beds, wardrobes and more, they are then cleaned, repaired and sold on at a low cost to the public from our showroom. Renovated white goods are also available.
Circulate holds all the relevant licences relating to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive and staff are trained to complete Portable Appliance Testing (PAT), enabling goods to reach EU Health and Safety standards.
First we had a presentation about the work Circulate does, and the support they're able to offer volunteers and those looking to re-enter the job market. They have a number of volunteers who started on mandatory placements from the job centre who have stayed on, and others who have been helped back into work via Active Steps and the employability project.
The WIFI equipped training room we used is available for hire, and if you run a business in the north of the borough, Circulate can supply ASDAN accredited training for customer service, manual handling, and more, as well as PAT testing at low rates.
Other services Circulate offer include ethical house clearances, furniture restoration, removals, homestarter packs, and crisis help for people in need. We went on a tour of the warehouse and workshops after the presentation, to see how donations are brought in, fixed up, and then offered for sale on the shop floor. Because they can PAT test in house they're able to offer guarantees on all electrical items too.
I was so impressed with the standard of the repair and restoration work, and the prices of the finished products. The delivery charge is proportional to the distance the pieces are going, but collection of donated items is absolutely free. By restoring and / or upcycling items which would otherwise be thrown out, Circulate diverts 140,000 kg of waste from going to landfill each year!
For more information, check out the Circulate Facebook page, the Garnsychan Partnership website, or give them a ring on 01495 793187. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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