A local paint re-use company has proved so successful with people flocking to support their cause that the council has renewed and extended a contract with them for a further five years.
Seagulls Reuse, an environmental social enterprise with a large paint store in Kirkstall, has gone from strength to strength in the past decade helping to collect and recycle over 370 tonnes of paint each year in the city, of which half is re-used.
Leeds City Council is renewing and extending a contract with the upcycling social enterprise for the collection and re-use of waste paint from collection banks on the council’s eight household waste recycling sites. With their distinctive pink containers, they help to encourage householders to re-use paint and upcycle furniture rather than discard it, using their popular chalk paints which are also on sale in the Revive Leeds re-use shops at the Kirkstall and Seacroft recycling sites.
Having worked with the council since 2010, the innovative enterprise have been collecting an average of 29 tonnes per month across all the sorting sites. Once the paint is collected, it is mixed to form new colours before offering it at lower cost to families, organisations and businesses across Leeds. The enterprise offers excellent volunteering opportunities and an avenue for employment.
Seagulls’ low cost paint allows Leeds residents to decorate their homes and upcycle their old furniture and create more pleasant home environments for their families “on a shoestring”, saving residents an estimated £200,000 in paint costs each year. It has also allowed many community organisations, social enterprises etc. to decorate their premises on a tight budget.
The Seagulls Mosaic project has also transformed several underpasses and run down garden areas into light, bright positive spaces that are valued by the community.
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council executive member with responsibility for environment and sustainability said:
“We are very pleased to be entering into a new five year agreement to continue our partnership with Seagulls for paint re-use. This is a great example of where Leeds City Council is working together with third sector organisations to enable mutual objectives to be met.
“Seagulls provide a unique service which addresses environmental priorities by re-using paint that would otherwise be disposed of. The work they do has significant social value through their employment practices, work with local communities and their provision of reduced cost paint and other products to low income residents across Leeds.”
Cat Hyde, Project Manager at Seagulls: “We are very proud of the enterprise we have grown from a kitchen table. We divert a vast amount of paint from landfill whilst working with people who are often on the margins of society.
We work hard to establish Seagulls within our 3 core aims: Planet, people and profit. Over the years we have established a solid and ground breaking relationship with Leeds City Council to deliver a paint reuse scheme that benefits the whole city.
Seagulls recently received the Social Enterprise of the Year award 2017 at the annual Social Enterprise Yorkshire & Humber (SEYH) Awards in recognition for being national leaders in what they do and demonstrating a track record of delivery, growth and innovation. They were also shortlisted for Environmental Social Enterprise of The Year UK.
Seagulls Reuse Ltd is a small third sector company which focuses on delivering environmental awareness and re-used resources to the Leeds community. They aim to engage and support local people, particularly those facing disadvantage, and to create volunteering, training and job opportunities.
The business operates on a simple collection round that takes material back to a central depot where useable paint is mixed to new colours and combined into useful quantities to be sold on at reduced rates.