An innovative new flooring project, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, has been launched by Dalkeith-based Melville Housing Association.
The project sees reconditioned carpet tiles saved from landfill, and instead offered at no cost to tenants who are struggling to find the money to provide floor coverings for their homes.
One tenant to have already benefited as part of the pilot programme is Andrew Hiddleston from Poltonhall.
He said: “I got some carpet tiles for my living room and I’m delighted with how they look. I’m so pleased with them that I’m now hoping to get my hall done as well.
“I think the whole project is a brilliant idea and I’m proud to have been part of it. Carpets aren’t cheap and there are a lot of tenants like me who would struggle to find the money for even basic flooring. I’m really grateful to Melville and everyone else who helped make it happen.”
Inspired by a meeting of Melville tenant representatives, the project is supported by Zero Waste Scotland, environmental consultancy Beyond Green and Novus Property Solutions.
If rolled out across Scotland, an estimated 22.5 tonnes of waste could be diverted from landfill every year with carbon savings equivalent to 43 car journeys between Aberdeen and London.
The carpet tiles are sourced from office blocks which are undergoing refurbishment work, with only good quality new and used tiles being provided.
Melville’s chief operating officer Morag MacDonald said: “As an organisation we are actively reviewing how we can be more sustainable in our practices, and how in doing so we can benefit the communities we serve.
“This project is stopping good quality usable flooring going to landfill and at the same time is helping tenants make their homes warmer and more comfortable.
“We’re extremely grateful to our partner organisations for the support they have given to this project and we hope to deliver, in partnership with others in the sector, a successful project.”
The sustainable project has resonated with tenants with over 75 per cent of those surveyed saying they would be interested in reusing carpet ties to floor their homes.
Louise McGregor, of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Melville Housing Association has proved that in the face of a climate crisis, we all have the power to reduce waste and emissions through circular thinking.
“The circular economy is not only about zero waste, it also delivers social benefits to the community.
Melville’s project provides real value to their customers while helping to minimise damage to the environment at the same time.
Housing associations are perfectly poised to introduce circular models in a range of services and our Circular Economy team is on hand to help.”