Freebies for businesses!

Filed in Blog by on September 22, 2009 6 Comments
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Matt Roper; founder of Green Buying and Scrap Shop

Matt Roper; founder of Green Buying and Scrap Shop

It’s not often businesses get offered something for nothing, but I bring Glad tidings of good news; or something like that.

This week I caught up with Matt Roper, Founder of Green Buying.

Green Buying sell products for businesses to encourage them to be more sustainable. You’ll find eco cleaning products, recycled stationary and recycling bins. They also offer Green business audits and consultancy.

The bit that had me rubbing my hands together with glee, however, was their ‘Scrap Shop‘.

Scrap shop

Oh the very thought of it: A place where one businessman’s trash can become another organisation’s treasure.

Scrap shop, which is supported with funding from Cheltenham Borough Council is like Freecycle for businesses and is completely free for any organisation, charity, council or school to use throughout the UK

Matt and his team won the Best Cheltenham Business Pride local initiative 2008 award for their scrap shop back in May of this year.

The aim of Scrap Shop is to give businesses, charities and councils an alternative to throwing their waste into landfill. Just like Freecycle, Scrap shop encourages organisations to trade their scrap with other UK based organisations.

FREE to use

The scrap shop is FREE to use, which is more than you can say for landfill. Businesses are gradually finding themselves at the mercy of higher and higher landfill taxes as the years roll on and landfill space runs out.

Matt has a personal interest in wanting to put something back into the community and with a passion for sustainability, recycling and reuse, the idea for Scrap Shop was born.

Matt wants to get businesses and organisations rethinking their waste. It’s time we all viewed our rubbish as a resource, so if you’re a business within the UK stop and ask yourself WHY you are throwing something away.
If you really need to ditch the item, perhaps there is someone else who could use it.
This stops another company having to buy new which reduces the number of finite resources we use.
In addition it saves you having to pay landfill tax to get rid of the stuff.
Best of all you get to make someone happy – and you can’t put a price on that!

Keep stuff from the landfill

At the moment, the scrap shop is being wildly underutilised. It’s a great resource for you if you’re in business, so why not have a hunt around your offices and cupboards and see if anything in there needs a new home? If you’re a charity that needs some new furniture, electronic equipment or office basics you can put up a ‘wanted’ request.

So far packing materials, archive boxes, furniture and vinyl offcuts have been kept out of landfill and traded between businesses thanks to Scrap shop.

And just so I didn’t get to be too much of a business bore, I ended our conversation by asking Matt a personal question:
“Just how many people are there in your household and how much rubbish do you throw away?”

Matt and his wife live with their 7 month old son and after reducing, reusing and recycling with their compost bin in the garden, kerbside collections of paper, cardboard, tins and glass they produce around 1/2 wheelie bin of landfill waste per week. That’s pretty good going!

Sign up today

Matt’s aim through the scrap shop is to save five hundred tonnes of waste going to landfill by 2010, and three thousand tonnes by 2012.

Help him achieve that aim and be part of the solution by registering for Scrap Shop today. It’s straight forward; you enter your business details and choose which email alerts you want, enter the captcha code and start listing!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (6)

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  1. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    This is a better landfill story, after a recent spat I had on SkyNews forum where an enormous percentage was assigned to landfill (88.7%) when the true figure is about 66%, showing 34% recycling/composting.

    Matt’s bisuness idea is linked to our trend, but with a far bigger potential impact than our home-based efforts. With landfill charges increasing, there is some urgency in reducing waste which can only benefit Zero Waste targets.

  2. Poppy says:

    Hey, congratulations Matt!! I saw you when you won the award, but didn’t realise quite how much you do.

    I will be passing your details around to others that could utilise the service you offer 🙂

    Thank you Mrs G 🙂

  3. Layla says:

    WOW, this is really great!! 🙂

    I wish I were a business in UK! 🙂

    I am thinking these things really need to be advertised better!

    I mean, at a local website of an incinerator here in Slovenia, a biz is asking when they’ll be able to get their stuff incinerated – if offered a free alternative, many would probably prefer to give it away for free!!
    Also, not sure if you have to be a biz or org or school to give away stuff or also to take it? (It might be easier to find people to take stuff if it weren’t limited? It would probably be good to keep track of things somehow though)
    Here in Slovenia, there are ‘eco schools’, maybe those could be more interested in such a scheme?

    Can (and do?) businesses and organisations Freecycle etc too? (Maybe it’s just good to advertise on a variety of sites and venues, eg local radio & charity orgs etc, to explore all options before the worse alternatives?)

    A friend was in a company that was offered green consultancy in USA and she said it was really great & they learnt a lot!

    So, hoping LOTS of businesses go green/er!! 🙂

  4. Mrs Green says:

    @John Costigane: I agree John, the scrap shop is a great idea and I really hope it takes off. Sadly I think a lot of businesses are ‘too busy’ and things like this come bottom of the list.

    @Poppy: Yay! Hope you find some interested parties, Poppy 🙂 Thanks for helping to spread the word.

    @Layla: It’s fab isn’t it Layla; it’s the beginning of raising awareness of greener alternatives; which is always good

  5. This sounds very much the same as Freecycle and Freegle.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Stephen Ticehurst: Hello Stephen, You’re right; it’s just the same concept, but for businesses. Great isn’t it!

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