New prison recycling scheme to upskill and rehabilitate offenders

A skills-boosting ‘recycling academy’ has been set up within a prison in Uttoxeter, thanks to a partnership from Amey, Recycling Lives and HMP Dovegate.

The TVs are sent from Amey’s Household Waste Recycling Centres to HMP Dovegate, where up to 40 offenders strip out glass, plastics, circuit boards and wiring from the televisions.

Once the component parts have been extracted at the prison, they will be sent to Recycling Lives’ 15-acre recycling park in Preston for final sorting, before going to the global commodities market for processing into new products.

More than 133,000 televisions will be recycled every year as part of the scheme.

Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said: ‘I am grateful to HMP Dovegate, Amey and Recycling Lives for their work in creating this HMP Academy.

‘Initiatives like this create a platform for offenders to go on and make a meaningful contribution to society – turning their backs on crime for good.

‘We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who helps prisoners find work and we want to encourage more employers to take on offenders and help them transform their lives.’

Amey’s Paul Kirkup added: ‘As a company which works both in the waste industry and for the Ministry of Justice (where we provide facilities management in prisons), this scheme really does allow Amey to provide a joined-up approach to supporting offenders, so when they leave they are going into work opportunities with confidence for themselves and their families, reducing the likelihood of re-offending.

‘Amey has already been working with Recycling Lives for six months but the new, dedicated Academy will now see TV sets from Amey’s 39 Household Waste Recycling Centres transported to HMP Dovegate for recycling.’

Recycling Lives is a social enterprise that uses its commercial operations to sustain its own charitable programmes.

Its HMP Academies programme, operational in 10 UK prisons, is significantly reducing reoffending by supporting men and women through training and work both pre- and post-release.

The programme has proved to be a major success in upskilling and rehabilitating offenders, with over 200 men and women employed within them at any one time.

Between 2015-17, of the 75 men and women released after working in Academies, just two reoffended while the remainder were rehabilitated and supported into work, which Recycling Lives claims created £5.3m in social value through reducing reoffending.

Thomas Barrett

Thomas Barrett

Journalist. Follow him on Twitter

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