If you’re a regular visitor to your local Recycling Centre’s resale shop, you may already know Jacqui Winterburn.
Jacqui’s role is to increase reuse at resale shops which are on site at 17 out of 18 Devon County Council Recycling Centres across the county, operated by Suez. As well as being her job, reuse is also her passion!
Jacqui says, “I love it, the whole thing, interacting with the public, finding those weird and wonderful items that are thrown away, saving those rusty bits of metal that I see beauty in and encouraging our staff to do the same. Filling the resale areas with all those weird and wonderful items that can have a new life with someone new.”
Having started out as a site operative, Jacqui moved up to team leader before taking on the role as Devon Area Resale Coordinator in April. Her aim is to boost reuse by ensuring usable items brought to the site to be disposed of are salvaged and taken to the resale shop so that everyone can have the chance to buy them. She also looks out for items that can be upcycled into something new or made into something completely different.
A big move this year has been sourcing good pieces of timber for resale. With the huge price increases and difficulties within the building supply industry, it’s been popular with those who have struggled to find affordable timber for smaller home projects.
As well as offering more to customers on the shop shelves, Jacqui has also set up a number of initiatives to divert items away from the waste stream and help community-based schemes. Tools are given to local repair groups to mend and use on further community projects, bikes are given to cycling charities to repair and encourage independent travel, and books are given to schools and other children’s groups.
A keen upcycler herself, Jacqui is working with Gary Abbot Earthworks to create upcycled bike benches at various sites. Vintage bikes are beautifully crafted into benches using the metal frames and reclaimed timber from sites. They will be on display for staff and public to see before eventually being auctioned off in aid of MacMillan.
Jacqui’s keen focus on the environment has seen site staff across Devon take on biodiversity projects of their own with huge success. Next time you visit your local recycling centre, look out for bug hotels made from reclaimed timber, hedgehog hotels, flowers, bird boxes and even bee hives! As well as improving sustainability across sites it also adds a flourish of colour and has received positive feedback from customers.
We’ll be following Jacqui and sharing her new projects over the coming months. Keep an eye out for updates and don’t forget to pop into your nearest re-sale shop to see what’s on offer!