Many of us throw things out that we don’t use or need any more, classing it as ‘junk’ and never think any more of it. Yet one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…
That’s certainly the case for brothers Brett and Shane Armstrong, who travel the world in search of scrap from the aviation industry that they convert into bespoke furniture worth thousands of pounds.
Their business idea was sparked when they saw a table made from an old engine cowling, and Brett knew he could make a better job of it himself. This confident attitude, coupled with their passion for recycling such masterpieces, as explained by Brett himself, “we liked the idea that some of these wonderful pieces from the aviation world weren’t going to be lost or wasted forever” ,is what encouraged them to create pieces of high-end aviation furniture and artwork, allowing them to fuel their passion for designing, engineering, quality and perfection.
Their joint business, Hangar 54, can produce anything from a clock to a sofa, and amongst these designs can be found a chair made from a Martin Baker MK10 ejector seat worth £7,000. You can even find higher-end products, such as the reception desk made from the engine of a Boeing 737 costing a huge £20,000!
Whilst some businesses, like Hangar 54, are taking advantage of these discarded aviation parts to create new innovative products, others may not necessarily have that capability. However, the WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) directive was introduced that offered a new alternative to unwanted electrical items.
Formed in 2007, the WEEE recycling system provided safe disposal for electrical and electronic waste such as TVs, computers, fax machines etc. Adhering to this process includes following the strict guidelines that outline exactly how the electrical waste should be disposed of, including the specialist equipment and methods that should be used – plus government approved – to carry out the work safely and efficiently.
This is considered quite a revelation in the recycling industry as electrical goods no longer have to go to waste. So if it cannot be picked up by the Armstrong brothers to be made into bespoke furniture, then at least we can dispose of it in a safe and responsible manner, so that it can be recycled and used again.