An influential politician has praised Recycling Lives’ environmental and charitable work.
MP Frank Field visited Recycling Lives site in Birkenhead, his parliamentary constituency, to learn about its work recycling metals and rehabilitating offenders.
He met with site manager Paul Nother and charity chief executive Alasdair Jackson, discussing work to tackle climate change, food poverty and repeat reoffending. Mr Field is a trustee of food charity Feeding Britain and co-founder of climate change NGO Cool Earth.
Recycling Lives Birkenhead was taken over by Recycling Lives in late 2017, saving seven jobs as former owners McCoy’s Metals went into administration. Its productivity has grown by 500% since, recycling 600 scrap cars and more than 400 tonnes of scrap metal every month and now employing 10 people.
The former Minister for Welfare Reform, who has led a number of independent reviews into poverty, took an interest in the site’s work offering training and employment to ex-offenders. Recycling Lives operations on Merseyside have created opportunities for a number of men and women leaving prison, supporting them into work and to not end up back in prison. Recycling Lives’ delivers reoffending rates of less than 5% for the ex-offenders it supports.
He also praised Recycling Lives’ work managing food redistribution in partnership with national food charity FareShare. It redistributes around 1,000,000 meals every year to 200 charitable groups, to reduce food waste from supermarkets and help groups to tackle food poverty.
Mr Field said: “I was bowled over by the way Recycling Lives links in a scrap metal business with offering jobs to people who were homeless. Their work in prison to stop people being homeless when they are released, and the distribution of good food which would otherwise go to the incinerator, is also stunning.”
Site manager Paul Nother added: “All our work at Recycling Lives is focused on creating positive change for individuals, communities and the environment. It was great to spend time with Mr Field, whose values are so much like ours – he has worked tirelessly to tackle climate change and food poverty. We look forward to working together more.”
Recycling Lives manages 12 sites across England and Scotland and is one of the largest ferrous metal recyclers in the UK.
It is unique in using its commercial operations to support and sustain three charitable programmes, which work to support the homeless, reduce reoffending and redistribute surplus food to communities.