A student-led project operating since 2009, St AndReUse is one of the longest running environmental projects at the University.

How it all began…

St AndRe-use started in 2009 as part of the NPower Future Leaders Competition. The project reached the final of the competition but little did the organisers realise what an initiative they’d started.

Rebecca, one of the original founders of St AndRe-Use, went on to work with Transition but now works for the EAUC (Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges).

The project received some funding from the competition but largely ran on the goodwill of the volunteers. During this time the project set up our collection storage up at University Hall and developed the now well-known St AndRe-Use logo.

Transition gets involved

In 2011, a newly Climate Challenge Funded Transition got the financial backing to give St AndRe-Use a little boost. The project increased it’s publicity and by the end of 2012 had increased visits to the Facebook page to 600 users. This increase not only resulted in avoiding lots of landfill waste, but was also estimated to have reduced the University’s carbon footprint by over 28,000 kg of CO2. More info on the project in 2011-12 can be found in the Transition CCF Final Report.

Running on Love

St AndRe-Use wasn’t included in the second CCF bid from Transition and as a consequence for most of 2012 the project was operated solely by the Student Committee with little more than love and dedication to reuse in St Andrews.

Back in the game

In early 2013, the University agreed to supply some additional funding to Transition to enhance existing projects – including St AndRe-Use. This meant that St AndRe-Use could really up the ante at the hall collections at the end of Semester 2 as they now had access to University vans and storage containers. This infrastructure support really showed and 2013 was the biggest collection yet, with over 800kg worth of goods donated.

2013-14 started with a bang with more than 600 people attending the St AndRe-Use big giveaway in Parliament Hall. We hoped this marked the beginning of an ‘unmissable’ event in every Freshers week, and we weren’t disappointed. In 2015 we redistirbuted 4.1 tonnes of items to over 700 people. 2016 saw a dip in the amount we were handling to only 1.6 tonnes, but we began asking people how much they felt the items collectively were worth. The answerin 2016, £18,690. By 2017 this number rose to over £26,000, and, not including the giveaways in freshers, the ReUse is estimated to have passed on over £33,000 worth of stuff in 2018. Full report on this year to be released soon!

“The Big Giveaway in 2017”

Where are we now?

Fast forwarding on from 2009, it is needless to say that reuse culture has started taking form here in St Andrews. The facebook page now has 1,779 people on it with engagement in second hand life styles growing around town everyday.

Overall, St AndRe-Use is still going strong and St Andrews Environmental Network has started organising pick-ups outside of halls of residences. We hope to collect more reusable items than ever before.

Currently, St AndReUse is led by Sam, our new Project Officer, who is extremely excited to take on this role and see where we can take the ReUse scene in St Andrews. In the upcoming couple years, he is hoping to see Halls take on more pivotal roles in the reuse process, make giveaways an all-year round thing and open up the project to more of the local community as well in both volunteering and disribution.

Like the sound of this? Don’t be a stranger, get in touch! sfw2@st-andrews.ac.uk