It was a day of celebration at Recycling Lives HQ when the recycler and social welfare charity was presented with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development by Lord-Lieutenant Shuttleworth. This is the second time that Recycling Lives have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award; the company also won it in 2010.
The Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development is given to a company which has demonstrated “commercially successful products, services and approaches to management which have major benefits for the environment, society and the wider economy.”
Before presenting the award, Lord Shuttleworth, HRH the Queen’s representative for Lancashire, said “It’s always a pleasure to come back to a company to present a second award. Everyone in Preston and indeed in Lancashire takes enormous pride in Recycling Lives’ achievement. It’s an inspirational story and an outstanding example to others.”
The Queen’s Award judging panel praised Recycling Lives for “its exemplary recycling and waste management services and its commitment to assisting disadvantaged people.”
In particular, the panel cited Recycling Lives’ Flat Panel Display (FPD) recycling process, set up in partnership with Kirkham Prison, as an impressive example of the charity’s pioneering work. Representatives from Kirkham Prison including the Prison Governor were present at the award ceremony, as well as the Mayor and Mayoress of Preston, plus several of Recycling Lives’ customers and supporters.
Other notable innovations by Recycling Lives include its state-of-the-art metal and WEEE fragmentiser, which recycles electronic goods and end-of-life vehicles, and which is believed to be the first ever “online” fragmentiser. As Recycling Lives founder Steve Jackson (OBE) said at the award ceremony, “Even though the fragmentiser has only been up and running for 3 months, the results have been absolutely superb”. A short video showcasing the secure destruction facility can be seen here.
Recycling Lives is an industry leader in providing environmental services, new business opportunities and support for social welfare schemes. The charity has already partnered with various causes to run its “Community Dot Com” schemes which include the Scrap Car Network, Furniture Donation Network, Skip Hire Network, Office Clearance Network and Bulky Waste scheme. These projects all provide recycling services to local communities while helping vulnerable people to gain work experience and future employment opportunities.
Recycling Lives’ partnership with HMP Kirkham continues this ethos, but with a new aspect; it enables offenders to gain work experience while still in prison. The FPD scheme at HMP Kirkham benefits both the environment and Recycling Lives’ charity partners by recycling old TV and computer screens, which can be reused and sold, with all the proceeds benefiting social welfare projects. At the same time, offenders gain training and skills which they can build upon once they leave the prison. Recycling Lives hope that the scheme will act as a model for similar projects to be set up in prisons across the UK.
In his speech, Recycling Lives General Manager Alasdair Jackson took the chance to thank HMP Kirkham’s staff for their support and said, “We’ve come a long way with this scheme: we now have a thriving warehouse with 17 men dismantling TVs. To see people who have gone through the process and who are still working with us now makes it all worthwhile. Awards are fantastic, but it’s those people who we’ve really done it for.”