A Scottish environmental charity is to publish a map of charity shops in Edinburgh that also outlines the kind of donations each shop wants to receive.
The map is the latest manifestation of the Generous City Project, a National Lottery-funded collaboration of more than 35 Edinburgh charities that launched almost a year ago to generate more charity shop donations.
The Lothian and Edinburgh Environmental Partnership (Leep), which set up the project, hopes the maps will help reduce the amount of money that charities spend disposing of donations that can't be used. According to the Association of Charity Shops, £4.5m a year is wasted in this way throughout the UK (Third Sector, 14 September).
As well as cutting unwanted donations, Leep hopes the maps will stop people from throwing away items that could be sold by charities.
Jess Gildener, project officer at the Generous City Project, said: "There's a massive volume of stuff going to landfill sites that charity shops could use. At the same time, they are having to dispose of stuff they can't sell.
"The maps will feature a key explaining what kind of goods each shop in the city is looking for."
Leep is producing 10,000 copies of the map - they will be available in a selection of public places, including doctor's surgeries, libraries and charity shops.
The Generous City Project also encourages collaborative working between charities and recycling outlets. Improved storage and transport have allowed charities to make better use of these facilities.
Leep hopes that landfill sites will eventually employ people specifically to sort through goods to prevent items that could be sold by charity shops from being destroyed.
- See Finance News, page 9
Charities in Edinburgh help to divert more than 5,000 tons of goods a year from landfill
Barnardo's in Edinburgh has reduced paid-for tip runs by 75 per cent since joining the Generous City Project
Up to 5 per cent of items donated to charity shops are recycled or thrown away
Oxfam spends £500,000 a year dealing with unwanted donations - the same as its entire expenditure in Rwanda.