Lord Henley meets with the former homeless people in charitable recycling visit

By Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Lord Henly and residentsEnvironment Minister Lord Henley visited recycling and social welfare charity Recycling Lives on August 15, 2011 to see how the organisation has combined its environmental and charity work.

As part of the visit, Lord Henley took a tour of the Preston facility's 15-acre recycling park to discover how it had unified its recycling and charitable operations to help formerly homeless and unemployed people get their lives back on track by offering them training, education and work placements.

Following the tour, Lord Henley was invited to visit the centre's resident accommodation where he expressed his admiration for Recycling Lives' efforts it had made to deliver community focused and sustainable charity solutions.

Lord Henley said: "If we are to move to a zero waste economy where old things are put to new uses, everyone needs to play their part. Recycling Lives is an inspiring example of just that – where the Big Society, community leadership and local action is not only improving people's lives, but recycling and reusing items that would otherwise be wasted."

Recycling Lives founder, Steve Jackson, said the aim of the visit was to demonstrate the charity's model to Lord Henley to show how making charities more sustainable and ensuring corporate social responsibility is a key factor for all businesses is "a really effective approach".

He added: "It was a real pleasure to welcome Lord Henley to Recycling Lives. As Environment Minister, Lord Henley has an in-depth understanding of the recycling and waste management industry and can understand exactly what it's taken for Recycling Lives to integrate charitable objectives into its commercial operations.

Recycle Lives has more than 40 years' experience in the industry, and provides recycling solutions for metals, glass, plastics, WEEE, furniture and bulky waste, along with a range of waste disposal solutions, including skip hire, waste segregation and compliance.

This is certainly a very good example of how things can be done but our biggest problem is still that today's products are – in the main – no longer repairable and thus destined for the dump from the time of their inception. This must be changed.

When our grandparents and great-grandparents roamed the Earth things were repairable, whether shoes and boots or wireless sets, aka radios, and everything else.

Today the great majority of products are designed with a limited life after which they are to be tossed. A practice that is not sustainable and also one that does not make for job creation.

We must change our ways or we will be doomed.

© 2011