Since 2017, the Recycling Fund for Communities has been boosting green projects across the capital. From repair workshops and community gardens to beach cleans and lantern festivals, we love to support grassroots projects that inspire people to think differently about waste and resources.
Here are some of the projects which have already been supported by us.
We supported The People’s Fridge in Brixton, placing mini-fridges in selected locations around Lambeth to educate residents about reducing domestic food waste. The fridges provide a more accessible space where surplus food can be donated and collected by the local residents.
Ben Longman, Co-Founder of the People’s Fridge said: "Veolia’s funding for small, volunteer-run organisations is the difference between us doing more innovative projects or standing still. We’re incredibly proud to be working in our community in partnership with Veolia to try and deal with the problems of food surplus and food waste."
We funded the Streetwise Bicycle Recycling Project in Greenwich. The scheme up-skills London’s youth to repair and restore old bikes, ensuring any spare parts are recycled into other items like clocks, rather than ending up in the bin.
Once the bikes are fixed they are donated back into the community to promote cycling as a way to positively contribute to local air quality.
Michael Watson, Streetwise Founder, said: “Veolia’s funding has enabled us to continue running our program, which trains on average ten young people per week. We have donated over 20 bikes to the local community since the project began, and recycled nearly 40 bicycles that would have otherwise been thrown away or abandoned.”
The Aldgate Lantern Parade is a large-scale community project which unites residents and community members to reclaim their streets for a short time, bringing colour, energy and excitement.
We were delighted to help provide a sustainable edge by funding community workshops where lanterns were handcrafted using reclaimed materials, such as milk bottles collected from schools and businesses in the area.
Volunteer team member, Eco Zhang said: “Our manifesto is trying to ask all participants from different levels and fields to think about sustainability systematically and provide them with easy tools to act on it".
With our support, Library of Things in Crystal Palace will deliver six repair workshops and ten mending meet-ups during 2020. The sessions will equip residents with the skills to fix broken electronics and mend textiles, so that they can carry on using them, rather than throwing them away.
Rebecca Trevalyan, Co-Director of Crystal Palace Library of Things said: “We’re delighted Veolia is helping us to develop the repair events we’ve started with the Crystal Palace community. To date, Library of Things has prevented over 15,900 kilograms of waste through such events, and through our item lending service”.
The Caldwell Garden Community Project delivered new and engaging bin store signage across the Caldwell estate, made completely from discarded materials by the local community.
We supported this project as it promoted food waste recycling, an important service being enforced across the borough. The initiative also provided an engaging community outlet for unwanted materials that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Catherine Rocca, Project Founder said "Creativity brings people together, and through art we hope to spread awareness of environmental issues and empower local people to take action"
Tottenham Cafe Connect regeneration transformed a disused bowling green into a thriving community hub and café. The project promotes sustainable living while helping to reduce social isolation, and delivering new life skills.
We supported this project as it continues to upskill the community and benefit the local environment. Regeneration of the green has brought about improved diversity, but also teaches locals about the importance of sustainable food production.
Leyla Laksari, Founder of Tottenham Cafe Connect said: "Support from Veolia's Recycling Fund has been invaluable to help us transform a disused bowling club and green into a vibrant community hub."
The Tradescant Road Planters project used planters made from recycled materials to tackle a fly tipping hot-spot. By filling the planters with flowers, shrubs and trees, they’ve drastically improved the appearance of the street and deterred the anti-social behaviour.
We like this project because it supports our work to eliminate fly-tipping and protect the environment. The project also preserves resources by promoting reuse to create their unique planters.
Helen Carrier, Founder of Tradescant Road Planters said: "The funding provided by Veolia means that we can buy planters and plants to change the dynamic and feel at the top end of the street. Introducing plants will highlight that it is a residential street and that people care about their area."
InUse-ReUse aimed to turn pallets and wood waste accumulated at Brixton market into into benches, compost bins, planters and block seating furniture for a local community park called Slade gardens.
This project core circular principles strongly resonated with us. Materials considered waste in one area were collected and upcycled in another area, not only preserving resources but providing social value as well.
Dennis Boateng, Founder of InUse-ReUse said: "Veolia's support enables us to convert discarded wood waste into fences, benches and tables for Slade Gardens"
Plastic Free East Dulwich aimed to achieve plastic free community status from Surfers Against Sewage, and encourage local community, businesses and schools to move towards a more sustainable future.
With our support, the project has engaged over 3000 people and East Dulwich has been recognised as the first community in London to gain Plastic-Free Community status.
Friends of Gipsy Hill set out to transform an area of environmentally impoverished land close to the station into a community hub, social space and wildlife garden.
We particularly liked this project because of the strong sense of community involvement, which encouraged people young and old to come together to remove waste and enhance the biodiversity of the site.
Jasmin Naim, Co-founder said: “The Friends of Gipsy Hill are a group of volunteers who want to enhance our local area by providing a garden community space for all.”
We are helping the Masbro Community Centre, located in Hammersmith & Fulham, to install solar panels on the roof of the centre. The Masbro will generate its own green energy source, avoiding over 11,000kg of CO2 emissions every year. This is set to save an estimated £65k over 20 years, which will be used to fund future community projects.
Andy Sharpe, Chief Executive of UPG, stated “I can’t thank Veolia enough for their generous pledge. Community organisations rely on the generosity of businesses like these, and it is great that they have recognised the long-term impact such a contribution can make both to the Centre and the environment”.
West Norwood Feast is a volunteer powered street market festival, based in Lambeth. Since launching in 2011, the initiative has built a wide following locally and across London, and the market day attracts approximately 5000 people. In 2019, Veolia supported Feast to achieve two aims: to reduce our carbon footprint as a market and to host public facing activities to promote sustainable living.
Kim Thornton, Volunteer at West Norwood Feast, said: "West Norwood Feast’s ultimate goal is to go ‘zero waste’ by the end of 2020. We’ll be promoting the reduce, reuse, recycle message to Feast visitors. The funding from Veolia will help us get there."
We supported Plastic Free Peckham - a community group which works with local residents and small business owners to reduce the plastic pollution in the local area, informing and empowering the local community to make more sustainable choices. We believe their work helps to create civic pride and boost behaviour change in local communities.
Laura Ford, Community Leader at Plastic Free Peckham, said: “Community clean ups are a great way to meet people in your area, and help us all to live a life with less plastic. Much of the litter dropped in cities and towns makes its way to our oceans through drains and sewers, where it endangers wildlife and the water we rely on.”