Isn’t it good Brixton waste wood

Table made from recycled wood

Neila Romdane on a project to put pallets from Brixton market to good use

Dennis Boateng set up InUse ReUse to make furniture out of pallets from Brixton market – putting them to good use and preventing them from becoming needless landfill.

“Why we exist is wholly based on encouraging a circular economy, where pallets and wood waste are being recycled, upcycled or reused,” he says.

“Our three-tier system enables pallets and wood waste either to be sent to a recycling plant, upcycled and converted into beautifully designed furniture, or re-used, with pallets being sent back to suppliers.”

Supported by the Brixton Business Improvement District (BID), Dennis started informally in 2017 with a project that just sent pallets back to suppliers.

Two years on, he has a pilot contract with Lambeth council and become a resident at the Re-makery project to ramp up furniture production.

He is also working on a project with Veolia and Urban Growth to convert pallets into benches and a seating area for Slade Gardens adventure playground in Stockwell.

“In 2018 I enrolled myself on an incubator programme run by Hatch Enterprise which was a local programme supporting locally based entrepreneurs,” says Dennis.

Recycled wood coffee table“The eight-week programme had a pitch day when the winner would be awarded funding. I didn’t win, but the help and support I received has been priceless.”

Through Hatch he learnt about Talent Works, run by University of the Arts London, that offers starts-ups, non-profits and social enterprises the opportunity to have marketing materials created by students.

“Hatch then recommend me to apply for the Red Academy community partner project that enables start-ups to get apps, digital marketing or websites created.

“We are discussing with Red Academy students the development of an app that enables consumers to customise their furniture and gives businesses the option to upload images of pallets and wood waste to arrange collection,” says Dennis.

“With the Slade Gardens project in the pipeline, InUse ReUse now aims to recycle pallet wood for local schools’ tables and benches, shops’ and offices’ fittings or to create furniture for low-income households.

The recycling enterprise has diverted more than 3,000 pallets back to suppliers and sent over 3.6 tonnes of wood waste to a recycling plant.

It has so far managed to upcycle about 60 pallets this year and worked on a mini-project collecting malt bags from breweries and converting them into pillows and cushions.

Watch them closely and next time you sit in one of our beautiful South London parks, look to see if the bench is an InUse- ReUse build!