One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure

More and more people are buying second-hand goods at ‘tip shops’ that have been set up at waste sites and dumps. One of the shops at a site in Newport rescued 21 tonnes of goods from landfill in October alone and customer numbers have doubled. More shops are set to open in Wales in 2019. People can drop off their goods at the tip shop to be sold on rather than putting them in landfill.

Selling goods cheaper than the high street

The manager of one of the shops at a site in Llantrisant, Wales, said that many people can’t afford to buy brand new goods, so they are coming to the tip shop. She said that people have came in to buy toys and other goods for Christmas which they just couldn’t afford on the high street. One lady bought her child some Avengers branded goods for £1. On the high street they can cost up to £40. The Llantrisant shop has sold 50,000 items in the last 18 months, which has saved around 102 tonnes of goods from going to landfill.

Reusing for a good cause

The tip shops are run by Wastesavers, a social enterprise that works in partnership with Newport Council. Wastesavers runs a ‘reuse centre’ and two tips shops, and it has agreements with some large retailers to sell furniture which is end of line or customer-returned stock in their online shop.

All profits from the Reuse Centre go to the Wastesavers Charitable Trust which runs social inclusion programmes that help people find work, help older people access the internet and teach life skills to children excluded from school. It also provides low cost furniture to people in need and provides people with volunteering opportunities so they can get back into work.

A spokesperson for Wastesavers said that the tip shops are getting busier all the time. The number of customers has doubled and they’ve sold 140 tonnes of goods since April, which would have ended up in landfill. He added that the shops are a valuable resource when people don’t have a lot of extra money to spare, and that people would rather see their unwanted items go to a good home now rather than just discarding them.