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Community / Unst Partnership keen to promote ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ message with expansion

Development officer Peter Sandison.

A FACILITY focused on recycling and upcycling unwanted items could be coming to Unst amid a drive to reduce waste on the island.

The Unst Partnership, which runs the second hand shop in Baltasound, has sent out a questionnaire to the community looking for feedback on the proposed expansion.

Development officer Peter Sandison said: “Due to the success of the UP Shop and the local skip scheme, Unst Partnership is now looking at expanding its service to the community in creating a purpose built recycling/upcycling facility.”

Key aims would be to bring items back to a usable commodity that can be returned into the community, promoting awareness of impacts to the environment and ways to ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’.

“The centre will be open to all residents and visitors, creating an environment for exploring possibilities, for the community, from the community,” Sandison said.

Suggestions so far include a workshop area for repairing or upcycling donated products, such as furniture or bikes, an area for scrap wood to be converted into planters, art and firewood, and workshops for basic carpentry, metalwork, clothing/fabric repairs.

Other suggestions include an industrial-size laundry facility, a “drop off” area for donation of excess fixtures and building materials, a gardening area which would play host to community polycrubs, and a worm farm or composting facility.

The building design will “focus on green technology and be as environmentally friendly as possible”.

Sandison said: “We would like to encourage residents to send in their ideas and comments on the centre. Once we have that, we can approach architects and look at possible designs.

“And then the hard part begins in seeking further funding for the project. I would urge all Unst folk to get their surveys in by the end of the month. As an incentive to this, every household replying goes into our prize draw.”