As one of four environmental awareness blogs this week, Kerr Adams shares some of his experiences about his placement at Furniture Plus, the largest furniture re-use, recycling and repair organisation in Fife. The main aim of the charity is to combat poverty and social exclusion, especially homelessness, whilst generating core income to sustain the project.
Kerr said: “Before my placement there were no in-house recycling methods and energy management was poor. In a bid to increase environmental performance in these areas new waste and energy management plans were introduced to achieve zero waste in-house by the year 2017.
“To help staff understand the impact of recycling their waste I placed notices throughout the store to bring the impact of landfilling waste into perspective, these included facts and figures. I also added a notice to the main office in the Dysart store which allowed staff to see what percentage of waste had been recycled and landfilled that week offering another positive way of engaging staff, as targets were set for constant improvement.
“A new recycling bin system was introduced, however, the decision to remove the majority of general waste bins from the store was unpopular amongst the staff, particularly challenging was removing the general waste bins in the staff kitchen to encourage staff to take their waste to a recycling point. During the first two weeks of implementing these changes staff would often create their own general waste bin in the kitchen area but after constant reminders and engaging with staff this stopped and recycling rates increased. Within a couple of weeks the changes soon became habit and staff started to take pride in the fact that they are doing something positive.
“I also identified small areas where energy performance could be improved. This included simple things such as turning off lights when not in use and turning off electrical appliances at the end of the night.
Gail Jackson his supervisor at Furniture Plus was extremely positive about the placement.
“Kerr is extremely motivated and very passionate in helping Furniture Plus reduce and save. He puts in 100% effort in all he is tasked with. It is nice to see all of our staff, placements and volunteers engaging in the changes that Kerr has implemented.”
Kerr is one of a number of students who have been placed with organisations as part of a Big Lottery Fund and Bright Green Business environmental awareness initiative.