Reusing and recycling with Sue Ryder

Furniture left out for recycling

At Sue Ryder, we are committed to reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill sites to provide numerous environmental, social and financial benefits for everyone in the local community.

In England alone we send about 8.5 million tonnes of waste every year to landfill. This costs businesses and households money and causes environmental damage.

At Sue Ryder we reuse, recycle and re-sell over 15,000 tonnes of donations a year that might normally end up as unnecessary landfill – that’s 12.6 million items, including 7.4 million items of clothing, 1.8 million items of furniture, over a million CDs and DVDs, a million books and 2.5 million bric-a-brac items.

How our charity shops help

Charity shops provide a second life for an increasing range of items and provide affordable goods. We do this through 450 shops and partnerships with companies, such as on John Lewis's take-back scheme. We also work closely with waste management companies with reuse shops located on household waste recycling centres.

By supporting our shops, you can help us provide 2.5 million hours of expert medical, practical and emotional support to thousands of people every year, in our hospices and neurological centres, in people’s homes and in the community.

Reuse Sue Ryder: our current projects

We – in partnership with Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham Borough Councils, and FCC Environment's Re3 long-term waste project facilities in central Berkshire – have helped divert over 400 tonnes of reusable items from landfill between February 2011 and July 2018. Staff at the facility advise customers on items that can be reused and place them in separate containers that are collected by Sue Ryder and sold in our nearby charity shops.

We currently have a reuse shop on a waste site based at Harpenden. Since the scheme started in 2011, over 72 tonnes of household items have been stopped from being sent to landfill and have been re-used.

Working in partnership with local authorities and waste management companies, we are looking at opening more reuse shops and providing more reuse solutions.

As a member of the Reuse Network (RN), Sue Ryder has collaborated with John Lewis on a furniture take-back scheme to encourage reuse and support local communities. When customers purchase a new item of furniture, rather than dumping the old item, they can opt to donate it to Sue Ryder for reuse.

We were linked with the John Lewis depot based in Nottingham (which covers Leicester and Nottingham) between April and July 2018. Through this partnership, we diverted around 2,000 items from ending up as landfill.

This year, we have launched partnerships with two national retailers who send unsold and unwanted stock that would normally end up as landfill to be sold in our shops. Not only does this scheme with Timpsons and Paperchase stop items ending up as landfill, but it also means that we can raise more money that goes towards our neurological and palliative care.

Find out more about our SAVED scheme

From replacing the plug on an otherwise-perfect lamp to refurbishing a washing machine with a full check, repair and clean, or even upcycling a well-worn chair into a modern masterpiece – all of it has been SAVED by Sue Ryder.