Liverpool's much-copied social enterprise for furniture recycling is to expand into the commercial sector after 24 years of domestic work.
Merseyside businesses can now use Bulky Bob's to collect unwanted office items for a minimum charge of £35. If a large removal is required or there are specialist items to collect, Bulky Bob's will provide an overall quote following a pre-inspection. Any small electrical items, such as kettles, toasters, or microwaves will be collected at no extra cost along with other goods.
Bulky Bob's began in 1988 as the Furniture Resource Centre and is now part of the FRC Group which turned over £5m in 2010 and employed 66 permanent staff. As well as collection and restoration, FRC operates shops reselling restored furniture and runs training programmes in Liverpool and Oldham on behalf of local authorities. Any profit goes back into training and employing people struggling in poverty and unemployment to offer the opportunity to change their lives.
Shaun Doran, chief executive of Bulky Bob's, said: "We are very excited about this new venture for Bulky Bob's. We believe there has been a real gap in the market for businesses to get rid of unwanted items in an affordable and sustainable way.
"By offering a reliable and efficient service, for the right price, we offer Merseyside businesses a sustainable alternative while giving us the opportunity to provide more training opportunities and divert more items from landfill."
Bulky Bob's collects a wide range of bulky household waste from over 50,000 Liverpool homes for free every year, with collections booked through Liverpool Direct, Liverpool City Council's telephone and online service. Bulky Bob's reuses or recycles 70% of the weight of everything collected. The organisation works with Liverpool City Council's children's services department to help families in crisis access urgently need furniture for free. Approximately 30 families each month are assisted with free furniture packages.
All the furniture collected is assessed to see if it can be reused, and repaired where necessary, then sent to Bulky Bob's Furniture World store on London Road. All furniture sent there, from settees to wardrobes, is sold at a low price with 79% of customers from families on low incomes and serving nearly 3,500 customers in 2009/10.
To book a Bulky Bob's business collection call 0151 702 0556 or email firstname.lastname@example.org