New scheme boosts recycling behind bars

HMP Dovegate has opened a TV recycling initiative to help prisoners learn new skills and help reduce waste

By Jonny Bairstow

A new partnership allows prisoners to develop new skills while helping to prevent electrical waste.

Amey and Recycling Lives have set up a series of television recycling academies. at HMP Dovegate, where up to 40 offenders can work to strip out glass, plastics, circuit boards and wiring from old television sets.

More than 133,000 televisions, weighing in at around 1,700 tonnes, are expected to be recycled every year as part of the scheme to upskill and rehabilitate offenders.

Once reusable parts and materials have been extracted, they are carefully sorted before being made back into new products.

The firms say the scheme is effective – since 2015, of the 75 men and women released from prison after working in academies, just two re-offended, while the remainder were rehabilitated and supported into work.

Participants earn an enhanced wage through the initiative and are able to gain sector-specific qualifications.

Paul Kirkup, Head of Resource Placement at Amey, said: “As a company which works both in the waste industry and for the Ministry of Justice, this scheme really does allow Amey to provide a joined-up approach to supporting offenders, so when they leave they are going into work opportunities with confidence for themselves and their families – reducing the likelihood of re-offending.”

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