Recycling Plymouth (established as a Community Interest Company in February 2013) is now a fully registered charity (charity number 1161489). Its objects are to re-furbish and recycle unwanted domestic appliances and other domestic commodities, provide training opportunities and work placements for the unemployed and to afford a range of complementary socio-economic activities of benefit to the local community. Towards this end, the charity works in close conjunction with other community led organizations across the statutory and charitable sectors including Plymouth Community Homes, Age UK, Broadreach House Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Services and St Lukes Children’s Hospice.The major source of Recycling Plymouth’s revenue is from its own income generation activities. Primary amongst these is the refurbishment of unwanted electrical and electronic items in its workshops, which once fully restored, are retailed to people on low incomes at affordable prices
Recycling Plymouth is a fully registered charity (charity number 1161489) based in the City of Plymouth and set up primarily by residents of Stonehouse, which is located in the most multiply deprived area of the city (i.e. St Peter ward). As a not for profit organization we recycle unwanted electrical items, bringing them back into reuse, and in so doing create employment, training and voluntary work experience for disadvantaged people living in the area.
The benefits of what we do
In addition to providing employment, training and voluntary work experience through our recycling activities, the charity is able to provide low cost affordable fully refurbished household appliances to people on low incomes in the local area, and now through eBay and Gumtree, beyond. Such appliances include washing machines, tumble dryers, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, dehumidifiers, LCD flat screen televisions, computers and laptops.
In addition to the social benefits of our work, there are very positive environmental implications. Many of the unwanted electrical and electronic appliances would otherwise go into landfill sites. According to WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) every year an estimated 2 million tonnes of waste electrical and electronic items are discarded by householders and companies in the UK. Over 40% of this amount is made up of large household appliances (e.g. ovens, fridges, washing machines) but there are large volumes of other equipment such as IT appliances (mainly computers), TVs (over two million discarded each year), small household appliances (e.g. kettles and hair dryers), electrical tools, digital watches, electronic toys and medical devices.
Recycling Plymouth makes its own local contribution to addressing this environmental problem through its daily free collections of unwanted large white goods and other electrical items, for refurbishment and redistribution in the community. In terms of small household appliances alone, in the last quarter of 2013, we collected (in conjunction with Plymouth City Council. and Groundwork’s South) three tons of electrical power tools. We then donated these free of charge, to charities and community groups in the local area. The recycling rate on these tools was 79% fully restored and returned to working order, before being put back into valuable community use.
In instances where we are unable to restore electrical and electronic items to full working order, we are usually able to extract those parts of the product that are fully functional and to recycle them.