22 community groups from across Greater Manchester have benefitted from a share of £220,000 to support innovative projects tackling waste, as well as encouraging reuse and recycling.
Now in its third year, the Recycle for Greater Manchester (R4GM) Community Fund has awarded a new round of funding for local community and voluntary sector groups focused on creative solutions for recycling, repairing or reusing household waste throughout the city-region.
Securing between £875 and £20,000, each of the successful groups was recognised for their commitment to sustainability and delivering social value for their communities.
With around half of the projects funded in this round continuing from the previous year, the fund has been able to support organisations to grow and develop their offering.
Celebrating their third year of funding, Jenny Neville, Project Manager at Future Directions, said:
“Over the past two years we have recruited a team of Green Superheroes who teach other people with learning disabilities and autistic people about recycling in a fun and creative way. This funding will enable us to build on what we have already achieved, so we can continue to work with people with learning disabilities and autistic people to enable them to understand the importance of recycling to help save resources and protect the environment.”
The fund has also been able to support the growing network of “repair cafes”, with two new projects coming on stream – the Sustainable Living in the Heatons project in Stockport, and the Cleavely Community repair café in Salford – which will help local residents to fix a wide range of items, saving them from going to waste and saving money. In addition, Stockport-based community interest company Make Build Grow will be launching their “MakeGood” project, to upskill local people in repairing, reusing and repurposing items.
Lauren Liles from Sustainable Living in the Heatons, said:
“This support will have a major impact on progressing the setting up of a Repair Cafe in the Heatons aimed at encouraging residents to repair and reuse household items, reduce waste and long term reduce their carbon footprint. The Repair cafe, run by volunteers offers the opportunity to learn new skills in a social environment.”
The two “innovation awards” of just under £20,000 each have been secured by Bounceback Food CIC and Permanent Education CIC. Following on from their successful pilot last year, Bounceback Food will be launching their “Community Cookery Champions” project, which will see a network of residents across every borough of Greater Manchester trained in reducing food waste and creating healthy, affordable meals.
Meanwhile, Permanent Education’s “Creative Composting Club” will continue their work with primary schools in Greater Manchester to reduce waste through the art of composting. Children, teachers and parents learn through collaborative, outdoor workshops about soil, how it is made, and its important role in biodiversity and sustainability.
Other initiatives include computer and laptop recycling; bike repair and donation; upcycled fashion; plastic repurposing and much more.
Councillor Tom Ross, GMCA lead for the Environment, Waste and Recycling, said:
“Firstly, I want to congratulate all the successful applicants and wish them the best of luck as they begin work on their projects.
“We recognise that community-based solutions such as these are crucial to help Greater Manchester reach its sustainability goals. Local people understand the needs of their communities best and this fund empowers them to take action and make real change.”
The annual fund of £220,000 comes from the sale of preloved household items in a joint initiative by R4GM and waste contractor SUEZ recycling and recovery UK (SUEZ). The items are collected at the recycling centres across Greater Manchester, before being cleaned and repaired for resale in three Renew Shops located at centres in Oldham, Trafford and Salford, as well as through an eBay store.
Items donated are prevented from going to waste and given a new lease of life at affordable prices, with all of the money raised going back to good causes through the annual fund. An additional donation is also made to the Greater Manchester Mayor’s Charity, supporting efforts to address homelessness and rough sleeping.