“Recycling is good but reusing is better”, Steve Sliney.
What is your job about?
I run a resource management company. We help clients, commercial clients reuse so we clear commercial buildings, we commit to reuse at least 80% onto different causes being that charities, voluntary groups, schools, small businesses, anyone really who needs reusable kits. We normally deal with business stuff, so what we do is that we clear commercial premises, we commit to 80% reuse, the minimum, and we recycle whatever is left over. We do not advertise our services, it is more a word of mouth, it’s networking.
What issues do you address?
- Environmental issues, we want to reduce the waste that goes into landfill.
- Social issues, we want to improve the social impact. We clear premises and we want to do that as socially side as possible. So, for example, we work a lot with Councils.
- Economic issues, we need to save money, we need to save our clients money or at very least we need to provide value for money.
What moved you to take action?
After University I was working for a charity and what interested me was a project on domestic furniture that we developed but there was never anything for commercial reuse. So we had people coming in saying “I have 50, 60, 200 desks, what do I do with them?” and we were like “Sorry we are not interested”. So that was when I understood that there was a gap in the market and I decided I wanted to cover that gap.
What were the obstacles that you had to overcome?
There has always been a positive response from the people to the project and that is why people do not like to throw stuff away. Obviously translating that into action has been a major obstacle but it is a gradual process. Have we had massive obstacles? Probably but we have overcome them because that is what a business does, overcome obstacles and find where the opportunity is.
Finding a site is always an obstacle, always an issue.
What helped you keep going in hard times?
I suppose that every business has hard times but with the right people you can overcome that.
I think that one of the major difficulties is that sometimes you feel alone in business so it is nice to be part of a large group of people.
What first prompted you to become interested in environmental issues and when was that?
Reuse is my offering to the environmental arena. I am interested in reuse and then in recycling. Waste is my area. I understand the other issues, I appreciate the other issues but my major interest is waste. I did a degree in London University completely unconnected to the waste industry but I have always had an interest. Probably it is because I grew up with my grandparents who being from the war generation were not throwing things away but were instead trying to reuse what it was possible to reuse. So from Art University I went into recycling and from there I just stayed.
On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being very happy) where would you rate how you feel about your life?
Professionally say about 7/8.
Personally say 10.