Over 3,000 items saved from the skip in a month as Torfaen reuse shop reopens
Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter
Items which might otherwise be thrown in the skip are being found new homes thanks to a reuse shop in Torfaen.
In January alone more than 3,100 household items were reused instead of being sent to landfill thanks to The Steelhouse, located next to the recycling centre on Panteg Way in New Inn.
Now being run by the charity Wastesavers, in partnership with FCC Environment and Torfaen council, the reuse shop officially re-opened on Monday after being closed for much of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Rob Pearce, shop manager, said among items which have been donated in recent months were a set of porcelain figures which turned out to be worth hundreds of pounds.
The figures were buried at the bottom of a box brought in by a couple, and after being valued, it turned out they were worth hundreds of pounds.
“If we were not here it would be thrown in a skip and it would be gone forever,” Mr Pearce said.
Something unwanted by one person can be of use to somebody else, and the idea of the shop is to stop items going to landfill which can be reused.
“The idea is to help people in need,” Mr Pearce said.
“They can come here and buy a TV for £10.”
Phil Hurst, from Wastesavers, said second-hand items are becoming more popular due to rises in the cost of living.
“We’ve got everything from golf clubs to kids books, to Xboxes to pots and pans,” he said.
“It’s pretty crazy actually what comes in.”
Ross Channing and his partner Melissa Hughes are regular visitors.
“We love the whole idea of reuse,” Mr Channing said.
“There is so much stuff in the shop and a huge variety of different things.
“We also like that it’s all being saved from going into landfill, which is brilliant.”
Cllr Mandy Owen, executive member for environment, said there is a need for more reuse shops given the climate emergency and cost of living crisis.
The shop, which is looking for volunteers, has already diverted more than five tonnes of household materials since it reopened in December.
“This is not only a great place to grab a bargain, but it’s also good for the planet, helping us meet our recycling and reuse targets and giving residents a chance to see their unwanted items go to a new home”, Cllr Owen said.
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