Give your unwanted equipment a new home with pioneering Warp-It scheme at University of Birmingham

Furniture can be given a new life with local charities, universities, schools and community groups

Most organisations throw items away without thinking if they can be reused – from unwanted furniture to office consumables like printer cartridges. Now waste can be saved, upcycled and redistributed, thanks to the Warp-It scheme at the University of Birmingham.

Peter Larkin, Environmental Services Manager explains:

‘Reducing waste is a key part of the University of Birmingham’s Sustainability Strategy. With the University putting 262 tonnes of waste into skips in a single year, we knew we had to do better. Although 92% of the contents were recycled, that still creates emissions – and we knew some of these items could be used rather than thrown away: office furniture and equipment after a refit, stationery and so on.

‘We launched Warp-It at the University in September 2018. It’s already saved 32 tonnes of CO2 and planted the equivalent of 44 trees. It’s saved the University £74,000 in disposal and related costs, too.

‘Now we want to take the scheme wider. By building a bigger network, we can ensure more items find new homes. If you’re a local charity, university, FE college, NHS, school, or a local community group, we’d love to hear from you.’

Instead of throwing away reusable items or leaving them to take up storage space, the Warp-It network’s electronic platform links your unwanted items with someone who can put them to good use. Users can create a ‘wish-list’ of items they need, or list their unwanted resources. You can even plan ahead – so if you’re having a clear out before a refurbishment, you can set the date your items will become available.

‘It’s a great way for institutions to save costs – from less to pay for waste disposal to cutting down on new purchases,’ says Peter. ‘But of course the real benefits are far greater: reduced emissions both from disposal and from buying new, creating a measurable saving of CO2. It’s a valuable change of mind-set, too. Now we don’t consider upgrading without planning a pathway for what we dispose.’

Could Warp-It help your organisation? To find out more and get signed up, visit: 

Or contact Peter Larkin University of Birmingham, Environmental Services Manager at


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