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Welsh charity forced to close IT recycling scheme

A Welsh charity’s IT recycling project was forced to shut down last month after its funding was cut.

Scout Enterprises used IT recycling as a vehicle to help take people out of unemployment and put them back into the workforce. Workers were taken on for 13-week contracts, paid the minimum wage and taught skills to help them get permanent work.

The Intermediate Labour Market initiative (ILM) was supported by European Social Funds, but a condition of the funding was that certain employment and sales targets be met - something the project wasn’t able to do.

Supervisor and tutor Paul Eddleston, made redundant as a result of the funding cut, said, “With what we were getting in, we couldn’t sustain it.” But the charity is hoping to look at a way of keeping the IT recycling going. Eddleston said: “More than likely it would be a commercially-based project. There are plenty of firms who want to recycle their IT equipment.”

The charity has applied for funding for a white goods recycling scheme, and if successful plans to run the IT recycling project alongside it.

Previously the project disassembled the majority of IT equipment it received, sending off the various components for recycling. It reconditioned about 5-10%.

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