December 2021 marked the month that the Circular Communities Scotland team waved goodbye to Lesley Campbell, our outgoing Reuse Consortium Coordinator, and welcomed Nicola Aeberli into the role.

Lesley was in post for over three years, during which the Reuse Consortium went from strength to strength. This included winning another three-year contract on Scotland Excel’s domestic furniture and furnishings framework (as the highest scoring submission), achieving financial self-sufficiency, and growing to represent 12 social enterprises and charities providing high quality reuse furniture to six local authorities and two housing associations across Scotland.

In 2021, its strongest year yet, the Reuse Consortium supplied over £500,000 worth of reuse items, saving 221,000 kilograms of furniture from a potential fate in the landfill, equivalent to 585 tonnes of CO2e.

Circular Communities Scotland would like to congratulate all our Consortium members for your hard work in making the Consortium the thriving network it is and for overcoming the many obstacles that the last two years have brought. Thanks also to our local authority and housing association buyers for continuing to support reuse.

Three months into the role, Nicola has been very impressed by the dedication to reuse shown by Consortium members, as well as the local authorities and housing associations who buy through the Consortium.

Nicola says:

“The Consortium is the perfect example of the positive environmental, social, and financial benefits that can be achieved when organisations work together to facilitate reuse on a larger scale. I’m excited to support our Consortium members to continue to provide high quality reuse items and excellent service. Furthermore, I look forward to leading the growth of the Consortium, encouraging other local authorities and housing associations across Scotland to discover the wealth of benefits that buying through the Consortium brings, not least the large budget savings over buying new.”

A few of Nicola’s highlights from her first three months in post include:

New Start Highland started to trade through the Consortium, supplying high quality reuse furniture to Highland Council.

Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company (CFRC) and North Ayrshire Council were successful in a joint funding bid to Zero Waste Scotland to buy cleaning equipment for professionally cleaning reuse mattresses, meaning that CFRC can significantly increase the quantity of reuse mattresses they provide, meeting the demand from North Ayrshire Council.

Four Square moved their Edinburgh Furniture Initiative premises from Logie Green Road to Gorgie Road in Edinburgh, which is a much larger space and will enable Four Square to increase trading and employ more staff, helping more people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Reuse Consortium, contact Nicola at