City council leader's praises recycling firm as a 'great venture'
JOBS are being created thanks to a deal between Absolute Recycling and Plymouth City Council.
The company is revamping unwanted household appliances, white goods and other electrical equipment which ends up at the city's household and recycling centres.
Previously, most equipment categorised under European Union law as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment, or WEEE, was transported to Wales or the Midlands for processing.
But since June, Absolute Recycling has collected more than 500 tonnes of waste electrical appliances, to be refurbished for the re-use market at its facility in Burrington Way.
Council leader Tudor Evans and Cabinet member for the environment Brian Vincent were given a tour of the premises, which employs 22 people, including three from homelessness charity Shekinah and six apprentices.
Cllr Evans said: "This a great venture. Not only is this creating jobs in Plymouth, it is providing people on lower incomes with an opportunity to buy goods that have been serviced and are workable."
Cllr Vincent added: "We have made a commitment to encourage more re-use of goods as many useable machines needlessly get thrown away.
"We've also committed to lowering our carbon footprint – and with hundreds of tonnes of goods no longer heading to Wales, this will have an impact."
Andy Hawkins, business development manager at Absolute Recycling, added: "It's great Plymouth residents will now get their waste electrical reused and recycled locally rather than having to transport it miles away.
"We all need to play our part in improving environmental performance."
In 2007, when the WEEE directive was introduced, the council signed a Producer Compliance Scheme to arrange for waste electrical goods to be collected from Plymouth's household waste recycling centres and transported to licensed re-processing and recycling plants at no cost to the authority.
At the time there were no nearby facilities, but this year the council learned Absolute Recycling had started a licensed treatment facility.
The company received support from WRAP's Small Business Development Scheme to set up their facility, which refurbishes, repairs and recycles discarded electrical goods.
Following discussions, site visits by council staff, and an environmental audit, the council approached the Producer Compliance Scheme operator to see if the facility could be used instead of sending the waste away. The go-ahead was given in June.
The company also provides a collection service for WEEE goods and a WEEE collection on behalf of Mid Devon District Council.
It has carried out more than 100 collections of waste electrical appliances from properties at the request of Plymouth Community Homes.