Social enterprise a great idea for our exciting industry
One of our favourite industry publications ‘Secondary Commodity Markets’ ran a really inspiring feature last month, about a social enterprise that has been set up within the waste and recycling arena.
Established not far from us on the outskirts of Leeds, West Yorkshire, U Can Recycling is reported to be a community interest company that specialises in waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) recycling. But the beauty of this organisation is that not only does it encourage the recovery, reuse and recycling of ‘waste’ such as redundant IT equipment. Better still, the more scrap U Can processes, the more jobs the management team can create in the process and the greater the level of social and economic capital reinvested into the community.
It is no wonder these committed landfill diversion and employment pioneers are hitting the headlines.
At a time when the industry is starting to fear a potential future skills shortage, and youth unemployment has been widely cited as a continuing problem in this country, it is incredibly refreshing to see a start up company exist for much more than solely commercial gain. U Can is equipping these youngsters, particularly the long-term unemployed, with skills for the future. WEEE recycling is not for the fainthearted, due to the stringent legislative requirements that surround this area of waste management, but U Can’s workforce is learning the discipline inside out.
With the firm’s turnover forecast to quadruple in 2013, it shows that it is possible for a young company, purposefully set up as a social enterprise, to flourish. We wish them every success.