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Scots urged to spark new lease of life for old furniture

Zero Waste Scotland is calling on Scots to find a new flame for unwanted furniture this bonfire season by donating household items for reuse.

4 Nov 19

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service crews responded to 338 fires on November 5 last year, and were mobilised nearly 1,500 times in the four weeks leading up to Guy Fawkes Night.

A number of those incidents involved flytipped materials – representing not only a public safety risk, but a waste of items that could have been kept in use. Deliberate fire setting is an offence in Scotland and people are encouraged to attend organised bonfire night events.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:

“At this time of year, unwanted household goods and furniture can end up on bonfires instead of being disposed of correctly. Burning such items causes environmental harm, due to the materials they’re made of, and should be avoided. We want to encourage householders to help others with their old belongings and be kinder to the planet by keeping items in use.

“By donating items that are still in good condition to their local reuse store, Scots can give unwanted household goods a new life with someone else. What’s more they’ll be keeping natural and finite resources in use while reducing their own contribution to the climate crisis.”

Ross Haggart, Assistant Chief Officer, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s Director of Prevention and Protection, said:

“We take great pride in working at the very heart of our communities to help keep people safe, alongside our partners.

“We make every effort to reach out to communities wherever possible to equip them with the tools and the knowledge to stay safe and provide them with a real insight into the potentially devastating consequences of fire.

“However, we will never be complacent and we will continue to remind people that deliberate fire setting is a crime and that a criminal record can affect future life and job opportunities – a price that can be easily avoided.”

Zero Waste Scotland has the following advice for householders:

  • If you have unwanted items that are still in good condition, donate them for reuse. Scotland has more than 140 quality-certified Revolve reuse stores, so it’s easy to find somewhere near you. Some stores will even collect items direct from your door.


  • Where goods are unsuitable for reuse, check your local council website to see what can and can’t be recycled where you live. Most Household Recycling Centres can take a range of materials, such as wood, metal, and electrical goods. Some even collect unwanted paint.


  • Flytipping is a criminal offence and can incur a £200 fixed penalty notice. What’s more, dealing with litter and flytipping costs over a million pounds a week in Scotland – and that’s money that councils could better spend on other priority services.

Notes For Editors

  • Scotland’s national Revolve standard is a quality certification for second hand shopping that that lets people know they are buying from a credible retailer.
  • All items are quality and safety checked, and Revolve aims to make buying second hand items a popular and positive experience. To find your nearest Revolve certified store visit www.revolvereuse.com
  • Zero Waste Scotland estimates that at least 26,756 tonnes of waste is illegally flytipped each year and dealt with by local authorities, with an estimated 61,227 incidents occurring.
  • In Scotland, flytipping is estimated to incur direct costs of at least £11m of taxpayers’ money for clearance, disposal and enforcement activities, while indirect consequences can include a negative effect on property values, increased crime rates, and increased mental health issues in areas where flytipping is prevalent.
  • Furniture and mattresses are among the most commonly flytipped items.


About Zero Waste Scotland

Zero Waste Scotland exists to lead Scotland to use products and resources responsibly, focusing on where we can have the greatest impact on climate change. 


Using evidence and insight, our goal is to inform policy, and motivate individuals and businesses to embrace the environmental, economic, and social benefits of a circular economy. 


We are a not-for-profit environmental organisation, funded by the Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund.


More information on all Zero Waste Scotland’s programmes can be found at https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk. You can also keep up to date with the latest from Zero Waste Scotland through via our social media channels - Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit our website or follow @scotgovESIF.


For media enquiries contact:

Harriet Brace, PR Project Manager                                                                                                        

t: 01786 237 342
e: harriet.brace@zerowastescotland.org.uk

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