EMERGE Recycling is an award-winning social enterprise, formed in 1997 in Manchester. Its name is an acronym of East Manchester Environment and Resources Group Emerge and it operates under its parent charity EMERGE 3Rs, which champions sustainability across all its operations.
Originating as a pressure group which campaigned against a proposal to build an incinerator, EMERGE Recycling has been a pioneering force in the recycling of household waste in Manchester for more than 20 years. After household waste recycling operations were taken over by the city council in 2005, EMERGE moved to a focus on providing waste and recycling services for businesses and organisations.
Currently EMERGE Recycling has around 860 clients within Greater Manchester; offering a bespoke recycling service, depending on the waste materials generated by the organisation. This not only includes materials such as paper, confidential waste, plastics, wood and glass, but also items like white goods, mobile phones and IT equipment; offering secure destruction for the latter to help businesses comply with recent GDPR legislation.
A typical day in EMERGE HQ involves handling queries about waste management and providing helpful guidance and tips about recycling to both the general public and businesses. Their drivers visit around 540 organisations, businesses and schools each week. Residents are also encouraged to drop into EMERGE’s depot to recycle their waste, free of charge. By offering advice, information and educational services within the wider community, EMERGE helps its customers carry out real recycling in our city.
1,700 tonnes of recyclable materials are collected each year by EMERGE; the majority of which is processed in Manchester. Paper for example, is taken to the Northwood Recycling Centre in Disley, Cheshire, and turned into paper products which are then sold in Manchester. This is a key point for the charity: to keep the recycling local in order to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations. EMERGE has a strong environmental and person-centred ethos, based around the 3Rs of sustainable waste management upon which the company was founded: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Although there are relatively few volunteers on the recycling project, the charity has seen volunteers from their other initiatives, such as FareShare Greater Manchester and EMERGE Touch Wood, progressing into paid employment in the EMERGE Recycling Depot.
To find out more information about the charity, you can visit their website.