For this month’s ‘Meet the Scheme’, we spoke to Maureen, Manager at Community RePaint Derby, hosted by Play And Recycling Centre.

So Maureen, what do you do at the Play And Recycling Centre and why did you become a Community RePaint scheme?

The Play And Recycling Centre was approached by Derby City Council back in 2000, to see if we would be interested in running a paint reuse scheme as part of the Community RePaint Network. Our scheme was launched during October 2000’s environmental week. Our Community RePaint scheme runs in parallel to our scrapstore, both attracting customers from the Derby area into the centre.

I have been the Centre Coordinator for the Play And Recycling Centre since April 1999, which originated solely as a community scrapstore 30 years ago. We collect in resources from local, regional and sometime national companies which are then sorted and displayed for our scrapstore members to access.

The other key member of our team involved in our Community RePaint scheme is Dennis, who has been with the scheme since 2002. Dennis was employed as the paint store controller at the Play And Recycling Centre until he retired. Now he volunteers as our paint store controller.

The front entrance to the Play And Recycling Centre, Community RePaint Derby People celebrating the launch of Community RePaint Derby.

Can you tell us what your typical working day is like and possibly share your top tip for managing your business?

Each day usually starts with a cuppa. Dennis, our paint controller, deals with the day -to -day sorting and processing of leftover paint, passed on for reuse to our scheme and also provides customer service and advice to our customers. The paint we collect in comes from various sources, including our local Household Waste Recycling Centre, the nearby Dulux Decorator Centre and other local retailers and businesses. We also have a team of volunteers who help with collections, admin and revenue.

My role is more about keeping the paint scheme, scrapstore and centre open. This might be writing bids, organising sale days as well as recruiting volunteers. No two days are the same.

What have been your scheme’s biggest achievements thus far?

At Play And Recycling Centre, we are currently celebrating 30 years since opening. Our paint scheme has also been open for 22 years. Between 2011 and 2022, we have collected in over 46,000 litres of paint which we’re extremely proud of. Being able to help families and community groups decorate their homes and community spaces is a fantastic feeling.

Do you have any stories from the community you’d like to share?

Many of our customers visit our centre during difficult times of their lives. These people are our best advocates for our service. One customer, who visited our Community RePaint scheme many years ago, when she was a single mum and struggling, is now a local community leader, who came back to help us write a bid, as she spoke from her experience. She remembered the help and warm welcome she had received when she originally visited us all those years ago.

Do you have any painting tips that you can share with us?

One of the biggest tips Dennis gives to new tenants or homeowners is to tackle one room at a time. Often people come in with a long list and this can be overwhelming so he suggests they work on one room at a time and tells them they can come back when they are ready to tackle the next room.

What’s next for Community RePaint Derby?

In October 2023, to celebrate our anniversary month, we are hoping to hold a month-long free registration to encourage new members to join us at Play And Recycling centre. We also have a paint sale booked in for May.

For more information about Community RePaint Derby, click here to view their scheme page.

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