Community employment projects

Workshop-based charities, community groups or businesses - such as those offering employment or training opportunities for people with special needs - are well-placed to become involved in partnership programmes with local authorities and alucan. These programmes provide stability and a sense of achievement for their clients, and can also lead to recognised skills-based qualifications.

The programmes give:

  • Contact with the local community through servicing foil banks, or sometimes foil and can banks, at supermarket and other prime sites. Banks are labelled with the project's name, and the public is encouraged to give top quality material for recycling.
  • Contact with local businesses, who may be happy to collect for the scheme. Bakeries and other caterers may give you clean foil, and the meals on wheels service may offer a return system for clean.
  • Alufoil trays.
  • A regular pattern of activity for different skills levels, and opportunities for team-building: servicing the banks, sorting the donated aluminium, baling or compacting, weighing and recording weights achieved - perhaps on computer - making the arrangements for collection or transportation, and then selling the cans and foil.
  • A high profile in the locality through running the operation as an appeal to buy something the project needs, or the extras which will make life better for the team - building self-esteem through achievement.
  • Foil from a primary schools project in the area can be donated to the group; alucans may also be donated.
  • Guaranteed markets for cans and foil - often at factory gate prices.

Partnership arrangements

Local authorities are responsible for developing recycling as part of their waste management strategy, and recycling officers are the main contact for all queries. Where community projects are planned, it is therefore important to gain their co-operation and commitment.

As well as having all the local knowledge to make sure that the aluminium scheme is tailored to fit well with other activities - there may, for example, be opportunities for community groups to be involved with other council initiatives - recycling officers work with schools and the public, know the local press, and can provide support in many different ways.

Where community projects are working as part of mainstream recycling in an area, local authorities can usually provide collection banks, and make the arrangements to site them at supermarkets and other appropriate locations.

Alucan is often the initial point of contact with the local authority recycling officer, and we are happy to arrange a meeting to discuss the project, and the potential income based on local recycling rate, and convenient sites.

Alucan can also often provide:

  • bank labels, including a label about the group
  • launch promotion, including local advertising and PR
  • a schools programme, with prizes
  • a starter pack of work coats and protective gloves for the team
  • re-usable bag liners for the banks
  • full support and planning advice for the launch appeal
  • a market for the aluminium cans and foil to be sold at best price
  • a baler/compactor may also be available to be hired at peppercorn rent, if the scheme has sufficient potential

The community group needs to be able to provide:

  • appropriate transport for servicing collection banks, and businesses
  • people-power to manage the project successfully, and reliably
  • covered storage facilities