AN AWARD-WINNING recycling partnership is aiming to create
new job opportunities for unemployed people across the county of Conwy.
Housing association Cartrefi Conwy and the community
co-operative organisation, Crest Co-operative, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The aim of the new agreement is to help unemployed people
to gain work experience and promote social inclusion. The agreement aims to increase skills and help economically inactive people find work.
The partnership was formed as a result of Cartrefi Conwy’s mammoth £30 million housing improvement programme and their desire to eliminate waste.
The team from Crest Co-operative ensured that nearly 4,000 kitchens and
bathrooms were cleared out and recycled instead of being dumped in a landfill site.
The Initiative attracted interest from across the UK after it was honoured at the
Wales Recycling Awards and the UK Sustainable Housing Awards in 2010.
With the housing improvement programme nearing completion, the
new joint venture will see Crest once again “applying best practice”
in their approach to waste recycling.
They will be helping to clear out empty or void properties
and then redecorating them to ensure a quicker turnaround time in readiness for
Cartrefi Conwy Chief Executive, Andrew Bowden said: “It is
important everyone in both organisations, and at all levels, understands the
importance of our working agreement.
“As strategic partners Crest Co-operative and Cartrefi Conwy both
seek to be actively involved in exploring new opportunities for developing
“Crest has that expertise that perhaps we, at Cartrefi Conwy, don’t have when
it comes to job creation and promoting social inclusion.
“Crest will bring in and teach people who don’t have skills or people who lack
confidence and that adds real value in the longer term. This is best practice
Crest Co-operative’s Chief Executive Sharon Jones added:“We have
already worked together for a few years and formed a good partnership. We
decided it was time to put our working agreement on a more formal footing.
“We are currently working alongside Cartrefi Conwy on their refurbishment
programme. We are going into void properties clearing out any left items of
furniture or other goods before decorating and cleaning the properties where
“This gives us the opportunity to employ more disabled people, people who lack
confidence and the long term unemployed. By working with us we can help these
people gain worthwhile employment.”
Andrew Bowden and Sharon Jones visited one void Cartrefi Conwy property in
Abergele where a team of Crest workers were in the process of clearing old
furniture, carpets and rubbish from the vacant bungalow.
According to Crest supervisor, Carlo Maffei, they recycle many of the furniture
items left in the properties which would otherwise go to landfill.
He said: “In this particular property we found an old wooden dresser which we
are taking back to our workshops. There it will be cleaned and restored before being
put on sale in our showroom.
“The truth is, that would have been just thrown on a skip had we not being
doing the clearance. It’s the same with the carpets. We endeavour to ensure
nothing, that can be recycled, goes to waste.”
Andrew Bowden added: “It’s plain to see that by working with Crest we are
promoting social inclusion and helping the long-term unemployed.
“And of course it has to be better that we prevent items such as old furniture
simply going to landfill.
“I am delighted our partnership with Crest is working so well and I believe, in
the long-term, our working agreement will undoubtedly grow even stronger.”