Recycling and recovery

Aberdeen's big paint give-away saves pounds and planet

Aberdonians planning a spot of decorating can save cash and help the planet next week as The Reuse Shop at Hazlehead household waste recycling centre (HWRC) launches its Big Paint Give-Away to celebrate its first birthday.

The Reuse Shop is a pioneering sustainability initiative, developed by Aberdeen City Council and SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, which makes sure that often desirable household goods thrown away at the HWRC are saved, spruced up and sold on to keep them out of the waste stream and provide local people with an affordable alternative to buying new.

The Big Paint Give-Away has been organised to redistribute thousands of litres of domestic paint which have been left at the recycling centre over the summer as people offload unused paint and clear out sheds and garages.

Domestic paint contains a range of chemicals that can damage the environment if not properly disposed of but that process can be costly.

Production Operations Manager at SUEZ, Colin Forshaw said: “There is a cost to the taxpayer of ensuring that the chemicals in paint don’t harm the environment and it often has to undergo a complex process to separate, recycle and neutralise the environmental impact of the various chemical components.

“Each year we receive around 120,000 litres of paint. By offering it free of charge to Aberdeen residents we can avoid the cost of disposal for taxpayers and in turn, help our neighbours save money by reusing something that would otherwise be disposed of.”

Visitors to The Reuse Shop can also view a range of other DIY products and tools that have been left at the HWRC which have been refurbished and tested with staff on hand to offer advice and support on a range of DIY projects; from painting and decorating to furniture upcycling, while also providing tips on how to reduce waste and make more sustainable choices which is at the heart of The Reuse Shop’s mission.

Aberdeen City Council’s Net Zero, Environment and Transport Vice-Convenor Councillor Miranda Radley said: “Reuse remains fundamental to our approach to reducing waste and the Reuse shop has already had a significant impact since it opened last year, which is reflected by expansion already taking place in the shape of the new DIY store.

“The Big Paint Giveaway is the latest innovation from the shop, in addition and is sure to be very popular with customers. I encourage all our residents to pop down to the shop and see what’s on offer.”

The Big Paint Give-Away is part of a wider strategy to encourage more environmentally friendly practices across Aberdeen, aligning with the city's commitment to achieving a circular economy. The Reuse Shop hopes that this event will inspire more people to participate in sustainable DIY projects, and that it will continue to be a hub for eco-conscious initiatives in the future.