A PVC-U window recycling scheme launched in partnership between private sector suppliers and supported by Kirklees Council, has created more than 100 new manufacturing apprenticeships.
Northwood Environmental was launched at the beginning of the year to collect and reprocesses recyclable material collected from across the North of England, giving jobs and training to young unemployed people.
This includes the recovery and reprocessing of ‘end of life’ PVC-U windows and doors collected from PVC-U window manufacturers and installation businesses.
Alongside this core activity, Northwood is offering training up to NVQ Level 3 in resource management as part of a wider commitment to support UK manufacturing more broadly.
James Jennings, Northwood Environmental, said: “We’re here to give young people a job. They go home each and every week with a wage.
“But we are also committed to training and developing everyone coming into the scheme, so that if they leave and go on to their next employer, they have a transferrable skills set that will not only support them but also support the manufacturing industry in the UK.”
Northwood has been supported in the scheme’s launch by national PVC-U recycler, Dekura and Kirklees Council.
Ahmed Khan, Kirklees Council Investment and Regeneration Service, said “There are 960 manufacturers in the area – that’s a third of all UK manufacturing businesses. We have to have a real stake in any programme which supports the creation of jobs and which delivers the skills that UK manufacturing is going to need to be competitive in the future. This is an opportunity for the local economy, for Kirklees and for UK manufacturing.”
The scheme is underpinned by Dekura, which reprocesses post-consumer PVC-U windows and doors after they have been de-glazed and sorted by Northwood Environmental Training and Recycling.
Part of building products manufacturing group, the Epwin Group, this material is then used in a new generation of thermally efficient products, including the fully recycled low carbon RECO22 window system from Dekura sister-company and social housing specialist Profile 22.
Richard Morris said: “This is sustainability in its truest sense - social, economic and environmental.
“We would urge housing associations and neighbouring local authorities to support the scheme. They need to demonstrate a responsible approach to waste management across all major building or refurbishment works that they commit to. Through Northwood and our wider network we can offer them full-cycle traceability on all of the material that we collect. That’s not something that is delivered across the board.
“This is a superb scheme that is giving young people a future but it also gives social housing providers access to a fully accountable and transparent waste recycling service. It should be a win win situation for all those involved.”