Innovative flooring project lands prestigious green award

Gold ‘carbon reduction’ award for saving 6 tonnes of flooring from landfill

An innovative sustainable flooring project designed to improve the lives of hard-pressed tenants, has won a prestigious gold award from leading environmental body the Green Organisation.

In 2021, The Green Apple Gold Award for Environmental Best Practice (carbon reduction category) was presented to Dalkeith-based Melville Housing Association for its Flooring not Landfill project which has so far rescued more than six tonnes of carpet tiles from the tip, instead giving them free to tenants struggling to find money to provide floor coverings for their homes.

Since it was launched in 2019, the project, the first of its kind in the country, has helped floor the homes of more than 70 Melville tenants and delivered carbon savings greater than 2tCO2e (two tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) – equivalent to 15 car journeys between Aberdeen and London.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have received this award,” said Melville’s Flooring not Landfill project lead Dan Hughes. “Our project benefits not just the planet, saving good quality flooring from unnecessarily being sent to landfill, but also dozens of tenants who would otherwise struggle to floor their homes.

“What we’ve seen throughout the COVID pandemic is the phenomenal demand for this service and, when lockdown guidance has allowed, we’ve continued to do our best to meet the needs of customers. Now that restrictions have eased, we look forward to helping out many more people.”

Efforts to get the Flooring not Landfill project off the ground were supported by the Circular Economy team at Zero Waste Scotland, (backed by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund). Zero Waste Scotland helped establish relationships with building contractors to set up a steady supply of carpet tiles sourced from office blocks undergoing refurbishment work.

Melville supplies both new and used tiles which have the additional benefit that they are much easier to lay than traditional carpet, even by a novice, and because they are relatively small are also easy to lift and transport.