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NRAs 2019: Partnership Excellence – Public/Private

WINNER: Recycling Lives, Serco and Amey

Recycling Lives delivers a contract for Amey to recycle waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) from the household waste recycling centres it runs on behalf of four councils in east England. The waste is processed at HMP Dovegate, a Category B men’s prison in Staffordshire run by public services provider Serco.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “This partnership has genuine purpose, offers benefits across a number of spheres and has achieved impressive results.”

Here, Recycling Lives has opened one of its HMP academies, a prisonbased recycling workshop employing offenders to support their rehabilitation.

The men dismantle and recycle the WEEE, each engaged in purposeful work, paid an enhanced wage and supported to develop their life and work skills in a bid to reduce their risk of reoffending on release.

The aims of the partnership are three-fold: environmental – to deliver high recycling rates for WEEE; financial – providing a competitive service which is financially sustainable; and social – through meaningful recycling work which supports offenders’ rehabilitation.

Since the partnership began in April 2018, 27 men have worked in the academy. Of these, seven have undertaken fork-lift truck training, six as novices. All gained their licences, and one completed refresher training.

tomra collection solutions logo

tomra collection solutions logo

This is one of 12 HMP Academies run by Recycling Lives. Of the 142 offenders released from these in the past three years, only five have reoffended, a rate of less than 5% which, compared to the national average of around 67%, is significant.

Conversely, 70% moved straight into work on release, secured because of the skills and experience gained undertaking recycling work.

Between April-December 2018, 939 tonnes of WEEE was recycled in the HMP Academy, achieving a recycling rate of more than 90%.


  • Bristol Waste Company with more than 10 partners
  • Dixons Carphone and British Heart Foundation
  • Enva and East Midlands University Consortium
  • Marks & Spencer, Wastebuster and Dow
  • re3: Bracknell Forest, Reading and Wokingham borough councils and FCC Environment
  • Suez Recycling & Recovery UK and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
  • Suez Recycling & Recovery UK, HMP Ford and Surrey County Council
  • Sustainable Advantage and Change Grow Live
  • Veolia and Westminster City Council
  • Wood Recyclers Association and Environment Agency

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