Voluntary, community and social enterprise recyclers can expect greater support in England following the launch of community interest company (CIC) REconomy.
Through the CIC, third sector recyclers will be able to work in partnerships across England to generate savings and win resources for the sector, according to partners the London Community Recycling Network (LCRN).
Reconomy was created by LCRN, the Community Recycling Network (CRN), Furniture Reuse Network (FRN) and the Community Composting Network (CCN) to improve collaboration and strengthen links between them.
Speaking at the LCRN and CRN annual conference, where REconomy was launched, Environment Minister Hilary Benn praised the work the sector had done so far.
He said: All of you here in the room got [reuse and recycling] a lot earlier than a lot of people got it. You are pioneers.
He acknowledged the sector was valuable to wider society, especially with its ties with the local community. He said it had created jobs and training opportunities, and redistributed goods.
We need better to value the work that you do. I think we should shout about it.
You set an alarm clock for the rest of us to wake up to the importance of wasting less and reusing more burying less and recycling more, Benn added.
He said that the third sector had an important role in raising awareness and changing behaviour and lobbying, agitating and pressuring to get people to think about doing things in a different way.