Picture the scene: you have just invested in one of those cool washing machines.
You can turn it on from your phone while you’re at work, it’s energy efficient, and the colour and shine match your new kitchen cupboards perfectly.
But in the corner sits its sad, clunky predecessor.
It still works, but it was noisey and old, and there had been a few times the socks came out dirty or it had unexpected stopped in the middle of a cycle.
But it could have lasted another wee while, and the guilt you feel taking it to the tip takes the graphite sheen off your new appliance.
But would anyone else want it?
Zero Waste Scotland is offering people the opportunity to feel great and not guilty about getting rid of items that have life left in them.
By using its Re-use Line, locals can let professional operators make the arrangements for a free collection by a local good cause.
The Re-use Line is a service which passes on items such as furniture or white goods to others.
And it’s been a big success in Falkirk District where it is supported by the local authority. According to recent statistics, Falkirk Council area has the highest levels of successful referrals relative to the size of area for Scotland.
It also makes financial sense, as locals don’t need to pay special uplift fees for bulky items.
The Re-use Line collects bed frames, mattresses, chests of drawers, bookcases, wardrobes, dressing tables, tables, chairs, sofas, armchairs, washing machines, electric cookers, fridge freezers and bikes.
Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland (pictured right) said: “We know that when it comes to disposing of things that are no longer needed, people really want to do the right thing, but aren’t sure what the local options are.
“The Re-use Line makes it really easy to arrange for a local organisation to pick something up from your door. It saves time and effort, benefits local good causes and allows you to get something out of the house in a way that makes you feel great instead of guilty about waste.
“Making it easier to re-use things helps Scotland move to a more circular economy, where things are kept in productive use for as long as possible.”
New Zero Waste Scotland research shows that many people feel guilty when they get rid of an item when there is nothing wrong with it.
The research also shows people get a real feel good factor when they pass things on to others, but many people aren’t sure where they can send their items locally.
Items need to still be in good condition to be collected. This means they should be free from tears in upholstery, be in working order and should not have been left outside.
Sofas and armchairs can only be picked up if they have their fire-tags still attached, as without these they are not allowed to be passed on or sold by law. Bikes tend to be collected by local bike recycling charities, where expert mechanics will fix them up to be re-used, so bikes requiring minor repairs can be collected.
But one of the major advantages of the Re-use Line is the impact on the environment. Zero Waste Scotland reports that 145,000 re-usable washing machines go to landfill every year in Scotland. But by re-using these machines, 20,000 tonnes of carbon could be saved.
Call the Re-use Line (formerly known as the National Re-Use Phone Line) on 0800 0665 820, or visit www.reusephoneline.com.