Service recycling unused golf clubs scores five-figure cash sum

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A Scottish-based pilot scheme giving unused golf clubs a new lease of life has been granted a five-figure sum as it looks to become a sustainable business model.

Garage2green, which teed off earlier this year and 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).

Various golf clubs are signed up to use the service, and it says it is already over-subscribed.

Garage2green aims to reduce waste, looking to get unused clubs into the hands of keen players – or even remanufactured or recycled into new items if they are too worn to use. It is a “circular economy” service, whereby materials and products are kept in use for as long as possible

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.

Garage2green founder Geoff Sampson, whose circular economy-focused company Circulogic is behind the idea, is researching product development options to keep the materials in use and out of landfill. Options under consideration include bespoke lighting and furniture using carbon fibre shafts and remanufacturing and recycling options for the rubber grips.

Sampson said: “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… 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.”

He said the investment has enabled the idea to increase in scale. “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.”

Zero Waste Scotland chief executive Iain Gulland said Garage2green is “a great idea to tap into a wasted resource”. 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