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The Shrub Swap and Reuse Hub (Shrub)
The Shrub Swap and Reuse Hub’s mission is to reduce landfill waste through creative reuse, encouraging Edinburgh University students to collect and reclaim all the items left at student halls by the last year’s graduates.
The social enterprise was the brainchild of a group of students at the University of Edinburgh who were appalled by the amount of waste left behind each year which would end up in landfill.
Determined to stop the cycle of perfectly good materials going to waste, the group of students came together at the end of the academic year, collected all the unwanted materials, stored it over the summer and redistributed it through hosting a ‘free shop’ at the beginning of the new student term.
The September free shop was recognised as a great success, with nearly everything that had been stored being reclaimed by new students. After two years, 12 tonnes had been saved from landfill.
Inspired by the environmental impact of the annual free shop was having, in 2013 the Shrub took the decision to expand. It went on to become a cooperative whose goal would be to encourage sustainable actions all year long. Not only would it hold the collected waste and provide a permanent free shop throughout the year, it would also grow well beyond its initial intention.
The Shrub has now 330 members, 200 volunteers and six part-time members of staff. It holds a swap shop four times a week, where people can exchange what they don’t need for what they do need.
At the same time, the organisation tackles food waste through its Food Sharing network, which redistributes unused food from businesses to the local community and facilitates one-to-one food sharing between local residents.
As well as intercepting resources, the Shrub organises workshops that explore creative reuse and encourages people to act. Two times a week, The Wee Spoke Hub sees trained volunteers help people to fix their own bike for free. The organisation also hosts many events and movies to raise awareness on issues of sustainability and social justice.
To find out more, contact:
The Shrub Swap and Reuse Hub
13 Guthrie Street
Tel: 0131 220 1884
Twitter: @ShrubCoop

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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210