Environment

The business recycling lives as well as waste

Recycling Lives not only recycles waste goods but also turns around the lives of the marginalised people it employs

Ian ended up in prison as a result of drug addiction, losing not only his home but his relationship and family ties, as well as his own confidence and self-belief.

“I was ready to change my life but I had no direction or motivation to do so until I met Recycling Lives,” he says.

Recycling Lives is a provider of award-winning waste management services, but aims to have a much bigger impact upon the community. The company offers work placements and employment opportunities to formerly homeless men or ex-offenders so they can regain their independence through work.

This was a main part of my recovery and rehabilitation

Ian regained a sense of stability he believed would never return after enrolling with one of Recycling Lives’ nine HMP Academies, which offer offender rehabilitation programmes in prisons.

“The opportunities it gave me were worth the hard work,” Ian says. “It gave me routine and responsibility so it was a main part of my recovery and rehabilitation.”

Upon release from prison, Ian moved into the residential side of Recycling Lives’ initiative in Preston, undertaking work placements. He was soon offered a full-time job, allowing him to move into his own home.

Last winter Ian enjoyed Christmas day with his family for the first time in 12 years: “My family are so proud of me now. I’m excited for what’s ahead.”

The business saw 37 people rehabilitated in 2015/16; thereby creating social value worth £2.7m by creating savings for the criminal justice system by reducing reoffending rates.

Just like Ian, Dean was worried for his future when he was jailed for the third time. Upon working in a Recycling Lives HMP Academies Workshop and showing a solid work ethic and determination to improve his life for the sake of his three kids, he was offered a full-time role with Recycling Lives upon his release.

This meant that not only was he given a job processing scrap cars, but also a home and the hopes of a stable relationship with his children, who he now sees every weekend as a result of turning his life around.

“They’ve helped me with everything: a job, a house and my kids,” he says.

recyclinglives.com

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Rewilding is bringing creatures great and small back to UK – but a lack of funds is holding it back
Rewilding

Rewilding is bringing creatures great and small back to UK – but a lack of funds is holding it back

Green transition: Help retrain gas workers or risk 'cliff edge' job losses, government warned
Green transition

Green transition: Help retrain gas workers or risk 'cliff edge' job losses, government warned

How London's history-making beavers are adapting to life in the capital: 'They have a right to exist'
beavers
Environment

How London's history-making beavers are adapting to life in the capital: 'They have a right to exist'

Shell just made £6.2bn in quarterly profit. Here's how that money could be better spent
Environment

Shell just made £6.2bn in quarterly profit. Here's how that money could be better spent

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know