The Rediscovery Centre in Dublin is the place to be. In addition to their many other items, they have a café being launched by Green Kitchen, the Walkinstown social enterprise that employs people who have learning disabilities. They also have an eco-shop that sells restored and reconditioned bikes, eco-fashion and more.
They have renewable technologies of every sort including their solar panels for water heating and electricity generation. Dr Sarah Miller, chief executive of the Rediscovery Centre, which moved into the repurposed building this month, explained that “Our target is to generate 95 per cent of our electricity on site and have a mini smart grid using all the renewable energy technologies.”
The €3.6 million project, which was funded by the EU Life+programme, the Government and Dublin City Council, took inspiration from many other such projects. Who do they hope to attract at the Rediscovery Centre? As Miller said,
“It’s a niche market of people interested in environmental issues, those who want to live more sustainably, and individuals who are building eco homes and looking for inspiration.”
Miller pointed out that in Ireland they are great at collecting and shipping materials elsewhere, but they don’t have a recycling infrastructure. As she said, “Our paper, plastics and textiles are all sent overseas. And there’s still a high level of contamination, in that over 30 per cent of recycled materials end up in landfill. That needs to improve for business opportunities to develop in this market.”