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Helping The Planet and Tenants With a New Innovative Flooring Project

A major Scottish housing association has introduced an innovative fresh flooring project, thought to be the first of its kind in the nation and intended to enhance the life of hard-pressed tenants while assisting the environment.


Delivered by the Melville Housing Association based in Dalkeith, the project sees refurbished carpet tiles saved from landfill, and instead offered at no cost to tenants struggling to find the money to provide their homes with floor coverings.


As part of the pilot program, one tenant who has already benefited is Andrew Hiddleston, who lives in a Poltonhall Melville home. “For my living room, I have some carpet tiles and I’m happy with how they look. I am so happy with them that I now hope that my room will be finished as well.


The project is endorsed by Zero Waste Scotland, environmental consultancy Beyond Green and Novus Property Solutions, inspired by a gathering of Melville tenant officials. If rolled throughout Scotland, an estimated 22,5 tons of waste could be transferred from landfill each year with 7tCO2e carbon savings (equivalent to seven tons of carbon dioxide)–equivalent to 43 vehicle trips between Aberdeen and London.


The carpet tiles provided to tenants come from office blocks undergoing renovation job. Only excellent quality fresh and used tiles are given with the extra advantage of being much simpler to lay than traditional tiles, even by a novice, and being comparatively tiny is also simple to lift and transport.


“There were two factors driving this project,” describes Melville’s Chief Operating Officer and Morag MacDonald, project leader. “We are constantly reviewing as an organization how we can be more sustainable in our activities and how we can benefit the communities that we serve. This project stops the use of excellent quality landfill floors and at the same moment helps tenants to add warmth and create comforts at their homes.


“We are highly grateful to our partner organizations for the assistance they have provided to this project and we hope to achieve a successful project in collaboration with others in the industry, marrying tons of unwanted carpet tiles across Scotland with hundreds of homes in need of excellent quality, inexpensive flooring.”


Zero Waste Scotland’s Circular Economy team, backed by the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund, has been involved with contractors to assist with the source of carpet tiles. This guaranteed an appropriate flooring supply for Melville to pass on to tenants while diverting precious materials away from landfills. The viable project resonated with tenants with more than 75% of those surveyed saying they’d be interested in reusing carpet connections to floor their homes.


“The Melville Housing Association has shown that we all have the authority to decrease waste and emissions by circular thinking in the face of a climate crisis,” said Louise McGregor, Head of Circular Economy at Zero Waste Scotland.”Not only is the circular economy about zero waste, it also provides the community with social benefits. Melville’s project gives its clients real value while at the same moment helping to minimize harm to the environment. Housing associations are completely capable of introducing circular models in a range of services and our Circular Economy team is on hand to assist.r models in a range of services and our Circular Economy team is on hand to help.”