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Moray Waste Busters to re-open after nearly four months closed due to lockdown

By Garry McCartney

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Phil Mills sporting a face shield donated by Moray Makerspace and Reboot.
Phil Mills sporting a face shield donated by Moray Makerspace and Reboot.

A LOCAL independent, not-for-profit charity and social enterprise is re-opening for business next week.

Following Scottish Government guidelines, Moray Waste Busters (MWB) has been closed since March 23 to help slow the spread of Covid-19, but operation manager Phil Mills has announced it will be diverting waste from landfill and reinvesting the resources generated back into the community as of Monday, July 20.

He said: "Putting in the measures needed to re-open after the lockdown has given us the opportunity to rework the site to improve our customer experience. The site is now more open and customer-friendly, with lots of space to social distance. There is lots of new stock, which has been quarantined for at least 72 hours."

Changes include: revised opening hours from 10am seven days-a-week; a new foot traffic flow for customers; and the relocation of a shielded till near a re-located exit area.

Hand sanitiser stations will be available for customers and staff throughout the shop, and signage on the shop floor will help customers adhere to the two-metre social distancing rules.

Moray Waste Busters are asking all customers to wear facemasks, as mandated by the Scottish Government, and to use hand sanitiser before handling any products.

Customers will not need to book to go to the shop and will be waived through to the car park. Small donations can be dropped off at a container by the polytunnels. However, for bulky donations, customers will have to book online via the Waterford Recycling Centre booking system.

Mr Mills said: "I ask customers to be a little patient with all the staff as we settle in to this new way of working. We are all getting used to living and working with the virus. Our aim is to make visits as pleasant and easy as possible while keeping us all safe."

MWB board chairman, Bob Kenny, confirmed that the social enterprise was delighted to welcome back customers, both old and new.

He said: "Whether it’s a donation or a browse round our displays, all of us have a responsibility to respect one another by wearing a mask and keeping a suitable distance to help keep this dreadful virus at bay.

"Please follow the advice and prompts around the site. Above all, please enjoy your visit and feel free to feedback your thoughts and comments."

MWB staff wearing face masks made and donated by Susan Mackay.
MWB staff wearing face masks made and donated by Susan Mackay.

Mr Kenny singled out Mr Mills and his team, as well as the other directors for their collective efforts in getting the site ready for business.

He added: "We very much appreciate the support, both financial and otherwise, which has helped us enormously. It has been a huge undertaking and we look forward to seeing new and familiar faces, albeit, with masks on!"

In 2019, Moray Waste Busters diverted 168 tons of re-usable goods away from landfill and supported 26 volunteer and placement opportunities for disadvantaged young people and adults. Through the generosity of local people, perfectly good items avoid going to unnecessary waste, are picked up at a bargain and are given a second life.

MWB will re-start van collections and deliveries from Monday, July 20 and will be following Scottish Government guidelines. The social enterprise also looks forward to resuming the donation of items to 70 not-for-profit charity organisations.

Mr Mills said: "The passing on items free of charge to local charities, community groups, and schools is an initiative we are keen to expand beyond the 70 plus groups we have already helped. It is important that the items generously donated are diverted back to help the local community in these increasingly challenging times."

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