The University’s Warp-it recycling scheme has proved its green credentials. Over the past four years, the scheme has resulted in 134 tonnes of used furniture and other equipment being donated to charities and local schools.
This has led to an estimated saving of £768,919 – based on the cost of recycling these items, and the time and money spent on buying new furniture.
Within the University, we have been able to completely furnish areas such as School of Psychology’s Woodlands Building at a saving of around £40,000. Other areas benefiting from a “Warp-it makeover” have included the School of European and World Languages’ staff room, using a mixture of Warp-it items and reupholstered old seats, and seating in the Rutherford Dining Room.
Furniture and other items have also been donated to local schools such as St Edmund’s, Dane Court Grammar School, Sandwich Technology College, Archbishop’s School, DaVinci Dance School and Animal Care Specialist School, and to charities such as Canterbury Scouts and the Necessary Furniture Group.
Warp-it furniture has even reached as far as Sierra Leonne! A previous Vice-Chancellor’s meeting table and chairs is being used in a school there, following a donation to the Kori Women Development Project.
Most commonly reused items have included desks, chairs, coffee tables, filing cabinets, tambour units and whiteboards, but sofas, modular furniture units, magazine racks, a water cooler dispenser and a safe have also featured!
The Warp-it team
The University of Kent Warp-it team comprises Jenny Martine, Interior Services & Signage Manager; Peter Hayes, Interior Services & Signage Administrator; Emma Dimond, Facilities Management Coordinator, Recycling & Waste; and the Estates Support Services Team managed by Calvin Froud, Support Services Supervisor.
Emma Dimond commented: ‘The team started using Warp-it in 2016 for several reasons; we were seeing how much good quality, pre-used, furniture the team were collecting and recycling and we knew that these items could have a second, third or even fourth home depending on their condition.
‘Over the years, Support Services had informally collected, stored and donated pre-used furniture to departments right across the University and we decided that we needed a more organised approach in order to document the types of items being reused, the cost savings and the improved environmental impact of these actions.’
As part of the University of Kent Waste Strategy, the Waste and Recycling team within Estates targets different waste streams and how to sustainably improve the disposal method. In addition to reducing the amount of waste the University produces, there is an agreed target to increase our reuse by 36% in 2020-2021.
Warp-it is one of the ways that we are working towards this target. Changing the disposal method from recycling to reuse allows us to reduce our CO2 emissions, moving up the waste hierarchy (prevention, reuse, recycling, other recovery, responsible disposal).
Emma comments: ‘The Waste and Recycling team are focused on goal 12 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals – these are designed to form a blueprint for a better and more sustainable future for all. With Warp-it on our team, that bright future becomes more achievable every day.’
Find out more
More information on recycling and waste disposal on campus is available on our recycling webpages.
Further details of our Sustainable Development Goals and the Sustainability team can be found on our sustainability webpages.