Upcycling PPE

Whilst clearing out the welfare changing rooms to remove used PPE from a previous subcontractor and make space for a new subcontractor, ten bin bags full of old PPE and clothing was collected, including hard hats, boots, hi-vis vests, coats and trousers.

Instead of throwing the old PPE in the skip, it was upcycled for a new purpose in the following ways:

  • Clothes that were still in good condition, such as plain trousers and sweatshirts, were separated for donation to a local clothes collection;
  • Old hard hats were cleaned and painted by six students from Addey and Stanhope School during a site visit. These were then secured upside down and transformed into colourful hanging flower baskets to brighten the welfare areas on site;
  • Redundant wellington boots were filled at the base with concrete, painted and then converted into umbrella holders for placing around the office and site welfare.
  • Old hi-vis vests were transformed into shopping bags and distributed around the office, reducing the number of plastic bags used by the team when going for lunch.
  • Used safety boots were filled with concrete and then painted to become door stops.

This activity encouraged collaboration from different trades across site, ranging from the Construction Manager to the Site Cleaner getting involved as well as improving connections with the local school, with three students now considering apprenticeships in construction, and one student applying for an apprenticeship in Engineering with Balfour Beatty.

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Entry submitted by Balfour Beatty


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