The BMC is supporting a pilot project to see if there is a commercial model for recycling climbing ropes and other equipment like helmets and hardware. We're looking for volunteers interested in a career in sustainable business.
Do me a favour and perform a mental audit of your gear. Am I right in thinking you’ve got an old rope stashed away somewhere? Even several? Lurking at the top of my gear cupboard is a pair of thin mountaineering ropes sadly past their prime. And a single 11mm that feels ludicrously thick compared to the one I’m using now.
What to do with all this redundant cordage? It feels wrong somehow to throw it away but there’s only so much room available in one’s castle for all this stuff. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were somewhere I could take my ropes to be recycled? There are some interesting initiatives around for reusing and recycling outdoor stuff, like the Recycle Outdoor Gear project, and Patagonia has set the standard for sustainability in new outdoor clothing.
But what about the ropes, helmets and hardware climbers use?
That question occurred to Dan Firth, a hill walker and climber who has worked in sustainable procurement for various public and private sector bodies as an environmental consultant. When he came to get rid of some old rope, he wondered why it was that no one was offering to take it off his hands. Surely this stuff might be worth something? That’s when he contacted the BMC.
Over the last few months, with the BMC’s encouragement, Dan has been doing some research on whether there might be a business in recycling gear, or perhaps a job or two, which are in short supply right now. From what he’s found out, there are positive signs the idea is worth exploring further, and we now want to help him set up a trial project.
So we’re looking for one or two bright sparks to set up a pilot in the Manchester area to test the viability of a business dedicated to recycling rope and other climbing equipment. It’s an ideal opportunity for a recent graduate looking for experience on how to set up and run a social enterprise and learn about sustainability.
The initial project will last for three months and will be unpaid. In the long run, if the idea works out, the project will be rolled out nation-wide, and there will be a paid-work job after the initial pilot. Any profits will be donated to the BMC’s Access & Conservation Trust.
Interested? Then read the job description and get in touch.
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