Delivered in association with Zero Waste Scotland and hosted by Catriona Shearer the CRNS Conference last week has been declared a huge success. Supported by The Herald, William Tracey and REPIC, the conference was a celebration of achievements within the sector over a ten year period and yet a stark reminder that much has still to be achieved in the world of reuse, repair and recycling.
“I was delighted to be part of the CRNS 10th anniversary conference,” said conference host, Catriona Shearer. “I’m a firm believer that we should all play our part in reusing and recycling, so when I was asked to facilitate this event it was an opportunity too good to waste.”
Commenting on the event, Mary McLuskey, CEO of CRNS said: “When CRNS was formed 10 years ago the Scottish recycling rate was just 12% and CRNS was a loud advocate for more recycling to be done in Scotland. Jump to now and the latest recycling figures show that in 2013, Scotland recycled 42.2%. Our members and the third Sector recycling projects have been responsible for part of that increase. But it is certainly not just about recycling. That, is only part of the waste hierarchy. Recycling is now mainstream and the task now for the next 10 years is to mainstream reuse and repair activities and to work towards a circular economy. Only then will be anywhere near our aspiration of a zero waste society.”
The conference networked many different memberships, organisations, stakeholders, campaigns, partnerships and collaborations involved in the reuse, repair and recycling sector, championing their work. The speakers were passionate, motivating and inspiring with delegates enjoying presentations from MARC, Recycoll and Tiphereth. CRNS was honoured to have industry expert Iain Gulland in attendance to deliver the early morning Keynote Address and TV personality Aggie MacKenzie to deliver the afternoon celebrity guest presentation.
“I really enjoyed attending the CRNS conference and finding out much more about the fantastic work done by the charity and its members,” said Aggie MacKenzie. “It was great to share my experiences from How Clean Is Your House? and Storage Hoarders and it was evident that there were lots of subject matter which we had in common. I look forward to becoming more involved with the work of CRNS.”
CRNS is Scotland’s national community reuse, repair and recycling charity. Through its activities and that of its member organisations the charity is:
- active across all 32 local authority areas.
- directly helps over 100,000 people each year.
- diverts over 54,000 tonnes of materials from landfill annually.
- employs over 700 staff and 3000 volunteers.
Some of the key achievements highlighted at the event included:
- A membership of 100+ organisations across all 32 local authorities which is now starting once again to increase.
- The production of mapping studies and sector research to inform of changes and trends.
- Strategic links with the Scottish Government and key partners.
- Consistent promotion of the zero waste message and participation and involvement in the development of consultations and policy.
- The organisation and delivery of national conferences and Awards Schemes
- Presentations at international conferences in Australia, New Zealand, US, and Europe, developing and maintaining a network of international contacts
- Management of major funding streams including the INCREASE Programme
“The key strength of CRNS lies in its membership and as we move into the next 10 years our efforts will be redoubled to ensure that we continue to provide services and support that is fit for a modern and dynamic charity,” adds Mary McLuskey. “Our future is vital to ensuring that through our members we are able to build a circular economy, address social and economic imbalance in our communities and lobby for change at the heart of government with the support of our key partners. As we move forward with our plans, we are developing a platform for CRNS and our members to engage with a wider audience so that we can ensure our work remains relevant, fresh and addresses need.”