As the Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, calls on all businesses, households, communities and local authorities to give their views on reducing waste; a commercial recycler and social welfare charity has a unique concept that not only recycles waste but people’s lives.
Recycling Lives, a 2010 winner of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, is a unique private sector solution to the growing national problems of worklessness, welfare dependency, low aspirations and educational disadvantage; while actively seeking to enhance the environment.
Recycling Lives has sustainability and integrity at its heart and has successfully demonstrated that it can deliver results when tackling social issues such as worklessness and homelessness; while maintaining a profit making organisation that actively improves the environment, stimulates economic growth and encourages other business to demonstrate Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Recycling Lives concept has proven it works- 91 per cent of the waste Recycling Lives handles is reused or recycled and saved from landfill. The commercial arm of the organisation actively trains, educates, offers valuable work experience and employs those members of the community facing an uncertain future.
An amazing 100 per cent of the individuals facing an uncertain future, who have finished the programme, have successfully made it into full time employment, independent living and away from benefits completely.
Recycling Lives develops a skilled workforce, a detailed understanding on the importance of recycling and a whole host of green sector jobs.
Spelman’s review will look at what policies are needed to reduce the amount of waste generated and to maximise reuse and recycling, while also considering how waste policies affect local communities, individual households and businesses.
Spelman said: “This is an exciting opportunity to look again at how we can increase recycling, reduce landfill and help unlock the real economic value of items people no longer want. We are committed to working towards a zero waste economy because it makes environmental and economic sense. Reducing waste needs to be made as easy as possible for people, it should be driven by incentives not penalties and common sense rather than coercion.”