Recycling Lives has been named Recycling Business of the Year in a national environmental awards.
The recycling company took home the top accolade along with the Metals Recycling Business of the Year award at Let’s Recycle’s annual Awards For Excellence.
The awards, held in London on May 10, recognise the work of businesses across the waste industry. Organiser Let’s Recycle is respected nationally as the leading website for the waste and recycling industry, working with businesses, local authorities and community groups.
Recycling Lives entry into the Metals Recycling Business category detailed its industry-leading strategy, operating a vertically integrated model allowing it to source, process, recycle and export metals. The top award win, for overall Recycling Business of the Year, was chosen exclusively by judges out of all category entrants.
The unique business has grown from a regional mid-tier recycler to a national top-tier recycler in recent years, turning over £46.5m in 2016/17. Headquartered in Preston, with nine sites nationwide, it specialises in recycling scrap metal, scrap cars, general waste and waste electrical and electronic equipment for clients including BT, British Gas and Sellafield along with police forces and local authorities.
Operations director Alasdair Jackson said: “We’re thrilled to win these awards - not only being recognised for our core business, metal recycling, but to be named the overall Recycling Business of the Year. It’s great to be recognised within the industry, by our peers, for our operations and vision.
“We put a lot of focus on celebrating our unique social programmes but we wouldn’t be able to do that work without being supported and sustained by the business. So it’s great to have our operations recognised at this level.”
Recycling Lives is unique in using its commercial operations to support and sustain its own charity and social enterprise. Its social programmes work to rehabilitate offenders, support the homeless and redistribute food, all incorporating recycling practices. These activities create significant social value, by creating savings for the taxpayer through reduced reoffending rates, welfare dependency and running costs for charities. Calculated by a Social Return On Investment practitioner, Recycling Lives has reported £9.3m Social Value to date - £4.1m in 2015/16 and £5.2m in 2016/17.
The two award wins come in the same week Let’s Recycle named Recycling Lives’ senior operations manager Anthony Sharkey in its 35 Under 35 list. The list recognises the best young professionals from across the waste management sector. Anthony joined Recycling Lives in 2016 and leads its ambitious expansion strategy, which saw it open five new sites nationwide in 2017.