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Jobs boost for Yorkshire recycling social enterprises

December 19th, 2012 | 4:43 pm

Two Yorkshire-based plastic recycling social enterprises are set for expansion after receiving funding from the low carbon expert consultancy, CO2Sense.

Reclaim and Enviromail Ltd, which both provide work experience and training for adults with learning difficulties, received £45,000 and £20,000, respectively, to purchase vital new equipment. In total, the funding will create six full time jobs, two part-time jobs, safeguard five jobs and create a number of training and work-experience positions across both the social enterprises.

Sheffield-based Reclaim are using the money to purchase an automatic baler to fulfil a number of recently won contracts. As a result of this investment, Reclaim’s turnover will increase by £54,000 per annum. Prior to receiving the investment, Reclaim, which is the UK’s largest plastic recycling social enterprise, had to suspend all new business activity and turned away £200,000 worth of new orders as they had reached full capacity with their existing infrastructure. The new baler will allow Reclaim to process an additional 30 tonnes of waste plastic each week.

 “Thanks to CO2Sense’s investment, we are able to significantly develop our infrastructure and expand our operations” said Darren Fitzpatrick, managing director of Reclaim. “This means we are able to create more jobs and training opportunities in line with our business development plan”.

Humber-based Enviromail, are using the investment to purchase a commercial shredder after receiving an order from University of Hull to collect and recycle close to 1 million books as part of the renovation work to their library. The project will increase Enviromail’s turnover by £40,000 and divert at least a further 70 tonnes of waste from landfill.

Pete Lemon, director of Enviromail, said “The support we received from the team at CO2 Sense was fundamental in this project moving forward. Enviromail had a fantastic opportunity with the University of Hull but this meant, not only providing a new service, but dealing with larger volumes of waste than we have previously handled.

“The help through the planning and development phases was invaluable and it gave us the confidence to move forward with the project. The financial support enabled us to procure a shredding machine that was not only fit for purpose, but large enough to process a diverse range of materials in bulk. This has allowed the business to promote and build its client base whilst honouring the contract with the University.”

Both social enterprises received the funding through CO2Sense’s Resource Efficiency Programme (REY), which is part-funded by ERDF and provides capital to businesses in the low-carbon or recycling sectors in order to facilitate their growth.

Andrew Hartley, operations director at CO2sense, says:

“It is clear to see from Reclaim and Enviromail’s growing order books that there are huge opportunities in the waste recycling sector. More and more businesses and local authorities are looking to mixed-recycling solutions in order to reduce their waste management costs and avoid rising land-fill tax, as well as reduce their overall carbon footprint.

“With CO2Sense’s support, both Reclaim and Enviromail have been able to overcome the bottle-necks in their production capacity and are now demonstrating how social enterprises can succeed against private sector companies in the extremely competitive plastics recycling sector.

“Access to finance is still one of the main issues facing businesses and at CO2Sense, our aim is to help bridge this funding gap and support the growth of businesses engaged in low-carbon activities.”

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