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Recycling centres operational in most prisons

More than 80% of prisons in England and Wales have recycling units, the Justice Department has revealed.

Out of 124 prison centres, 108 have recycling units, according to junior minister Jeremy Wright. He said all 13 private sector prisons had recycling centres and most employed prisoners.

Of the 95 recycling units operated by public sector prisons, three of them are supervised by private contractors.

The disclosure was prompted by a parliamentary written question by Conservative MP Philip Davies.

Davies told MRW he became interested in the subject after visiting a recycling unit at a London prison.

“It was saving a considerable amount of money by recycling anything and everything instead of just disposing of it as rubbish. 

“Things that could be repaired were being fixed and put back into use saving the prison the cost of replacing the items, other items were being sold as scrap metal and the cost of waste collection had dramatically reduced as obviously there was less waste to dispose of than before.”

Davies said he was pleased to know other prisons had similar systems in place and added he would support the setting up of such units in more detention centres.

“There may be good reasons for not having prisoners working in recycling units in all prisons - for example in high security prisons.

“But if there are cost savings to be made which can take pressure off the prison budget then I am all for having as many as possible.”

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