Desks, beds, mattresses and microwaves were among the 14 tonnes of waste salvaged from Kingston University’s former Rennie Hall of Residence at Kingston Hill before the bulldozers moved in this summer to make way for a new building.
Kitchens, bathrooms and 85 bedrooms were stripped of more than 900 items of furniture, fittings and equipment by London-based sustainability project 'Offers/Ex-IT' in preparation for the new development. More than 90 per cent of the goods have since been accepted by London and Surrey charities which will redistribute 71 per cent of the items to the homeless and socially-disadvantaged and recycle 28.1 per cent. Only 0.9 per cent (six mattresses) ended up in landfill.
Kingston University sustainability facilitator Nicola Corrigan said: "The project demonstrates the social benefits of minimising waste. It also gives a flying start to our aim of achieving a low eco-footprint for the new building."
The 'Offers/Ex-IT' project has been reusing and recycling office furniture, fittings and computer hardware for the past ten years. Director, Richard Anderson, sees the involvement of major organisations such as Kingston University as an important part of the sustainability agenda for local communities. "It’s all about making the most of the resources we have, saving money and the environment. By going into places such as universities, we’re taking the benefits of sustainability – recycling and reusing materials otherwise destined for landfill – straight to that organisation’s local community," he said.
Local charities already benefitting from the project include: Furniture Aid South Thames, Furnish – Staying Put Services, Furniture Scheme Richmond and Arc Croydon. The charities are now redistributing these essential household items to those in need across several boroughs.
The 1930s Rennie Hall of Residence is being demolished this summer to make way for a new £30 million teaching building which will include a variety of modern study and teaching spaces, as well as become the new home for Kingston University’s Business School. The five-storey quadrangle building will be set around an atrium and plans include a number of sustainable design features such as a ground-source heat pump and rainwater harvesting.