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Furniture deal cuts fly-tipping

A bid to cut down on fly-tipping and help residents save money on furniture was getting under way today.

A new partnership between the National Housing Federation and the Furniture Re-use Network was being launched in Andover , Hampshire, at the first birthday party of Twice As Nice - the award winning furniture recycling scheme set up by Testway Housing.

Twice As Nice takes good quality second hand furniture and recycles it to new owners at bargain prices. The new partnership between the Federation, the trade body for England’s 1,400 housing associations, and the Furniture Re-use Network, which represents the UK’s 400 furniture and appliance re-use organisations, aims to make schemes like Twice As Nice more widespread throughout the housing association sector.

Derek Cash, head of the Federation’s south region, said at the launch of the national partnership: ‘‘For many people decent furniture is what makes a house a home, but we know that people on low incomes find it hard to afford - especially if they can’t get credit. At the same time, a lot of unwanted but perfectly salvageable furniture is being dumped either legally or illegally. That’s why we’re so supportive of Twice As Nice, which gives furniture a new lease of life, and it’s why we are teaming up with the Furniture Re-use Network. We’ll be working together to help housing associations either to set up their own furniture recycling schemes or to support existing schemes by encouraging residents to access them.’’

Paul Smith , chief executive of the Furniture Re-use Network, said: ‘‘The Network shares the Federation’s goals for reducing poverty and we hope that through working together, we can help over a million households per year gain access to furniture, white goods and the other essential elements of living. We hope our joint action will reduce household debt, improve people’s standard of living and help to tackle climate change. ‘Twice As Nice is an excellent example of how housing associations play a wider role in society.’’

Steve Benson, managing director of Testway Housing, said: ‘‘Twice As Nice has been extremely successful. In its first year, we’ve sold or taken donations from over 900 households and diverted 40 tonnes of furniture from landfill sites. There is a real need for this kind of project in our area and I have no doubt there’s a similar need around the country.’’

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