Pianos saved from landfill given new homes thanks to upcycling scheme

More than 130 pianos have been saved from landfill in the last year by the team at the Pianodrome in Granton.

More than 130 pianos have been saved from landfill and given new homes thanks to an instrument adoption scheme in Edinburgh.

Last year, the team at the Pianodrome in Granton began tuning and fixing old pianos that had been donated or saved from the tip.

The project began back in 2018 with the creation of the Pianodrome itself – an amphitheatre made entirely out of upcycled pianos.

But then came the question of what to do with donated pianos that couldn’t be fixed up, so the team decided to invite people along to learn how to make the instruments into something new.

Tim Vincent-Smith, co-director of the Pianodrome, said: “If we get good pianos we always do our best to find a good home for them as an instrument rather than pulling them apart.

The Pianodrome was built in 2018.STV News

“But if they can’t be a playable instrument they go to the adapt scheme and then we have a volunteer session every week where we take people through the process of pulling apart pianos, and then it always gets people thinking ‘well what can I make out of this?'”

Co-director Matthew Wright added: “We’ve spent six years now building this project from those beginnings where we just had a bunch of pianos, a shipping container and a bit of space.

“It’s amazing what you can create with a piano. We’ve built all sorts of things from beautiful furniture to puppets to decorative things – to the Pianodrome itself.”

Piano tuner and technician Joel Sanderson joined the team at the Pianodrome after his sister adopted an instrument from them last year and now helps to prepare and decide their future.

Joel Sanderson comes to the Pianodrome once a week to tune and repair the instruments. STV News

He said it all depends on the quality and condition of the piano and whether the instrument has been kept in the right environment over the last few years.

Mr Sanderson added: “If they’re very good quality pianos, but in a bad condition, then I will say, ‘okay, can they be done up at a reasonable cost and go back into the world?’

“And if they’re not in very good condition and they’re not very good quality pianos in the first place, then they can be turned into something else.”

Bethany Myers has been giving the project a go and has made a few sculptures of her own.

She said: “I like the ethos because it’s very environmentally friendly.”

“They always like to use what we have, to make what we can, and you get quite creative with that and quite inventive. I love seeing what people make as well, it’s very inspiring.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code