ILM Highland, the independent charity and social enterprise, provided the perfect backdrop to wave off nine cyclists on their grand departure for the first stage of the REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event, which will eventually reach Kent in 15 days time, on Friday 2nd June 2023.
To mark the 15 year anniversary of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment regulations across the UK, REPIC, the UK’s leading WEEE producer compliance scheme was joined by ILM Highland and supported by representatives from Defra, ICER, and The Highland Council on the first stage of the 15 day cycling event.
Travelling as far as Carrbridge (Friday 2nd June) a distance of 56 miles, the REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event aims to bring together the wider sector to celebrate the milestone achievements of those involved in the reuse and recycling of waste electricals since its inception 15 years ago. In total, the 15 day, 15 location and 15 great stories event, will cover a distance of over 850 miles, from Alness in the Highlands to Sittingbourne, Kent.
A breakfast briefing event, held in conjunction with ILM Highland, chaired by Lets Recycle’s editor, Joshua Doherty officially launched the REPIC WEEE Cycle event. Joined by representatives from REPIC, Defra, the Scottish Government, Zero Waste Scotland and The Highland Council, a roundtable discussion was held to talk about ‘The role of reuse in the circular economy’. Covering topics such as the biggest opportunities to increase reuse, how government policy can provide support and improving consumer confidence in refurbished electricals.
Louise Grantham, Chief Executive at REPIC, added: “The roundtable produced a positive debate on key topics and gave us all some actions to take forward to help shape the future direction around reuse, ensuring that everyone can benefit from the changes.
“It was a great event to get our 15 day REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event underway and a thank you must go to all our guests for taking the time to send us off in style.”
Celebrating 15 great stories along the route, and joining up a network of AATFs, Local Authority sites, repair and reuse initiatives, the REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event is providing an opportunity to look forward to what lies ahead in both the forthcoming WEEE consultation and the transition to a more circular economy.
Prior to departures the riders enjoyed the stirring sounds of a local bagpiper, an employee of ILM Highland, as well as the motivational opening words from REPIC Chief Executive, Louise Grantham and ILM Highland’s Martin Macleod.
As the riders were piped off on time, the invited guests were given a guided tour of the ILM Highland premises and retail shop, further shining the spotlight on the importance of reuse of electricals.
REPIC’s long term partner, ILM Highland is a great example of reuse done well. Despite its remote location, smaller villages and geographical challenges, the social enterprise has continued over the past 15 years to deliver a fully traceable reuse service that supports local communities with job creation, quality second life appliances and spare parts to those on low incomes.
ILM Highland has been working in partnership with REPIC and the Highland Council for over 10 years to collect and dispose of WEEE. Through the partnership, ILM Highland has sustained fifteen full time jobs and takes on two new trainees each year. To date it has sold over 20,000 refurbished appliances to low income households.
Louise Grantham, REPIC’s Chief Executive, comments on the importance of reuse in a circular economy: “REPIC has long supported the reuse activity of ILM Highland and continues to remain supportive of many reuse arrangements when there is a market for demand.
“Reuse is an important part of the circular economy as it keeps products and materials in circulation for longer.
This minimises waste, creates jobs and has a positive social impact and reduces consumption and associated carbon impacts. Of course, once a product or material is no longer fit for purpose it should be recycled.
“It’s encouraging to see the reuse of electricals increasing and more channels opening up to facilitate the trading or passing on of unwanted electricals. Recognising that these activities go on and developing robust standards for the refurbishment of electricals are key drivers to improving consumer confidence in purchasing second hand or refurbished products.”
ILM Highland’s reuse activity is fully traceable and continues to drive higher standards for refurbished electricals. Its guidance and procedures ensure that all items are tracked throughout the process, with a final quality assurance test conducted prior to any item reaching the shop floor.
Martin Macleod, Chief Executive of ILM Highland, adds: “I’m extremely proud of the work and commitment ILM Highland delivers. From the positive environmental activity we undertake through our charity waste electrical recycling service, which clears the local council sites and our collection points of end of life electricals. Through sorting out electricals for reuse and refurbishing these items for sale at affordable prices in our retail outlets. This circular activity all helps us continue to keep vulnerable people living at home for longer through our Care and Repair and Handyperson services. We’ve become a valuable part of the community offering a unique service that has only been made possible by our involvement with waste electrical recycling.”
The REPIC WEEE Cycle Network event will conclude on Friday 16th June when the riders pull into the 15th and final destination in Sittingbourne, Kent around midday. They will have completed 850 miles across 15 days and raised a total of £15k for local good causes along the way.
Today’s Grand depart event: