SUEZ operates 15 community recycling centres (CRCs), five waste transfer stations and five Revive reuse shops in Surrey as part of a 25-year waste management contract.
In mid-2018, SUEZ Surrey began speaking to New Futures Network about opportunities to work with HMP Ford on upcycling materials. They have used their on-site workshops to repair items discarded at CRCs so that more materials can be put back into use through the Revive shops and so that prisoners can learn valuable skills, creating multiple paths to employment following release.
Within 18 months this programme has:
- Diverted 6.3 tonnes for reuse
- Interviewed 89 offenders
- Provided training for 30 offenders
- Offered work placement to 19 offenders
- Provided full-time employment for 7 offenders
The success of this project has encouraged SUEZ to consider ways of broadening the scheme, both within Surrey and across the country. This initiative is also being embedded in new contracts, including in Greater Manchester – the largest waste contract in Europe.
Within Surrey the objective is to work with HMP Ford to certify their workshop, expand the scheme to include Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) repair and to add new roles to the placement scheme, including weighbridge and office staff. SUEZ has also begun discussions to extend the project to a women's prison, which will have the added benefit of encouraging greater diversity within the industry.