06 Aug 2018
A Scottish-based pilot is taking the drive to reduce waste by giving unused sets of clubs a new lease of life. The innovative new business idea teed off earlier this year, across a number of the country’s golf clubs – and is already over-subscribed by clubs eager to take part.
garage2green, a new circular economy service, is supported by Scottish Golf, has been granted almost £56,000 from Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy Investment Fund (supported by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund).
It gives unused golf clubs a new lease of life. garage2green aims to get the unused golf clubs, that are gathering dust in garages across the country, into the hands of keen players - or even remanufactured or recycled into new items.
As the European Championships, featuring a golf tournament, get underway in Glasgow next week, garage2green urge people who live near a participating club to dig out and drop off their unused clubs. Almost half of all directly reusable clubs collected to date have been donated to charity Blythswood Care, and eventually some will be distributed to golf academies – encouraging new players to try out the game.
A circular economy is one in which materials and products are kept in use for as long as possible, with big benefits to our environment and economy.
Clubs that are too worn to play with will be remanufactured or recycled, and garage2green founder Geoff Sampson, who’s company Circulogic is behind the idea, is researching product development options to keep the materials in use and out of landfill.
Geoff, who has a background in the waste and recycling industry, explained, “My vision for the service was borne out of having a pile of clubs in my own garage that I'd kept hold of, but never got round to passing on or selling. The more people I spoke to, it became apparent that so many clubs just sit around unused, until people just want them cleared out of the way.
“Having worked in the waste and recycling sector for over 20 years I was keen to set up a practical service that supports re-use and remanufacturing.
“Thanks to Zero Waste Scotland's Circular Economy Investment Fund my idea has become reality and on a bigger scale – without the funding garage2green may never have got off the ground, so it seemed only right that Scotland, 'The Home of Golf' should be the place to start. My hope is that the pilot is well received, that we can engage the wider golfing industry and that we can build a sustainable business model enabling future expansion.”
One of the priorities for the pilot is to assess the materials in the reclaimed golf clubs, which would decide suitability for remanufacture. Options identified so far include bespoke lighting and furniture using carbon fibre shafts and remanufacturing and recycling options for the rubber grips.
Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said:
“garage2green is a great idea to tap into a wasted resource – in every local street in Scotland there’s likely a few garages or sheds that have a set of golf clubs that have been forgotten about. Not only will the pilot divert valuable resources away from being dumped in landfill, and create potential remanufacturing opportunities here in Scotland, it may help make a set of clubs more affordable and encourage new players into the sport.”
The pilot will see containers located at golf courses for members and visitors to donate unwanted golf clubs to the scheme. Find out if your local club in involved by visiting garage2green.com
Carolyn Hedley, Scottish Golf's Environment Manager, has led the recruitment of golf clubs for the pilot. She said:
"I am delighted with the enthusiasm shown by clubs to be part of this pilot scheme, so much so that we are oversubscribed at this time. Scottish Golf is keen to promote resource efficiency within our membership and I'm excited that our clubs can be part of such an innovative recycling project and contribute to the circular economy.”
Zero Waste Scotland is inviting funding proposals from SMEs and non-profit organisations exploring markets for new circular economy products, or for the development or uptake of innovative business models, services or technologies that support a circular economy. To find out more about the Circular Economy Investment Fund visit zerowastescotland.org.uk
Ian Matheson, Head of Operations, Blythswood Care, said:
“Blythswood Care is delighted to be the collections and sorting partner for this pilot project. Blythswood has collected donated golf clubs from the public and Household Waste Recycling Centres(HWRC’s) for many years. This project is helping to gain understanding and so realising further material value opportunities for second hand golf clubs.
“Circulogic and Geoff Sampson’s work, means unused golf clubs will now do more rounds again on Scottish golf courses.”
Zero Waste Scotland leads on delivery of the £73 million Resource Efficient Circular Economy Accelerator Programme, which aims to improve the economic performance of SMEs while at the same time reducing the impact of economic activity on the natural environment, supporting Scottish Government and EU policies.
The full case study is available here.