Reuse with Yooz

7th September 2015

CCS Carbon Reduction Project Manager Fiona MacLennan recently checked out Yooz, a ground-breaking Reuse & Recycling project for building materials, …

CCS Carbon Reduction Project Manager Fiona MacLennan recently checked out Yooz, a ground-breaking Reuse & Recycling project for building materials, the first of its kind in Scotland. Fiona shares thoughts on how Yooz can help you not just to recycle but to reuse as well.

We have had a quite a few discussions recently with artists, theatre companies and venues on how we can encourage reuse of materials. Touring companies would like to encourage re-use of stage sets once a production or tour has come to an end.  We also know that there is a demand for useful bits for second hand stage sets from both professional and amateur companies so we’ve been keeping a look out for someone who can help.

Lack of storage is the main reason why so much usable material goes into landfill and stage sets have to be cleared out of the venue as soon as a production finishes so there is little time to arrange for transporting materials to willing recipients.

Many artists, sculptors and makers want to work more sustainably and are keen to reuse materials as well as reduce cost.

Based in Bellshill, the Yooz project was set up as a funding vehicle for the charity Active4All, whose aim is to enhance employability and social integration, with a particular focus on helping those who are disengaged and/or disadvantaged. They operate throughout the Central Belt so can arrange pickup of materials from Glasgow, Edinburgh and surrounding areas. Materials are then sold back to the community at a low cost, to enable people to improve their living environments – with any and all proceeds being reinvested into the Yooz project and helping to achieve the charity’s objectives.

  • Yooz project started in the summer of 2009 and they have already diverted over 6,500 tonnes from going to landfill.
  • Yooz aims to reuse approximately 85% of materials, with around 15% recycled and a fraction of 1% going to landfill.
  • Yooz are a social enterprise that provides an environmentally and socially responsible way to keep good, reusable materials out of the waste stream.

Yooz noticeboards - resizedFor buyers the service provides the benefit of affordable prices and some really quirky pieces. On the day when I visited the project, which is housed in two huge warehouse units, there was a steady stream of buyers taking advantage of the huge range of materials available.

I was on the lookout for some noticeboards to use for our upcoming 50 shades of Green Conference. We are actively seeking to embrace the circular economy when organising our own events so the opportunity to source ‘preloved’ materials was ideal.

Some of the members of the project produce everything from unique furniture made out of fire extinguishers to garden sheds and furniture made from discarded palettes and other materials collected which they sell to raise funds.

Whether you have sets and props that you would like to hand on or, like us, you are looking for items for your event or project its worth checking whether Yooz can provide the service you need.

Yooz will also provide you with information for environmental reporting:

“Upon collection, we will produce a Waste Transfer / Duty of Care Note – with a note of the materials collected. We report on the tonnages and materials collected and are able to produce weekly / monthly / quarterly summaries of waste picked up from your site.

We understand that you may have reporting requirements to fulfil and so we can be flexible to ensure you receive all of the necessary information.”

You can find out more about the Yooz project here

Yooz are hosting a stall at our 50 Shades of Green: Stories of Sustainability in the Arts Sector conference on 6th October 2015, where the Scottish arts community will be exchanging knowledge and experiences of a huge range of sustainability initiatives. Get your (free!) ticket here.


Get info on news, opportunities & events by email

About Creative Carbon Scotland

We believe cultural and creative organisations have a significant influencing power to help shape a sustainable Scotland for the 21st century.

Read more about CCS

0131 529 7909

Supported by

Creative Scotland logo City of Edinburgh Council logo

A project initiated by Edinburgh’s Festivals with key partners the Federation of Scottish Theatre and Scottish Contemporary Art Network

Edinburgh Festival City logo Federation of Scottish Theatre logo Scottish Contemporary Art Network logo