Liverpool recycling charity puts a freeze on wasted white goods

Monday, March 4, 2019

A recycling initiative by a Liverpool charity has helped rescue hundreds of fridge freezers from the scrap heap.

In 2017 Liverpool-based CREATE UK received a £25,000 grant in order to help set up a service that repairs and re-uses white goods appliances (such as fridges, freezers, washing machines). Just over a year later it has been revealed that they have refurbished 818 appliances weighing in at 35 tonnes. Additionally, the project has seen 1714 tonnes of white goods recycled for materials and parts.

Once collected, the reusable white goods were taken to CREATE UK’s workshop in Speke for repair and refurbishment before being sold on with a six-month warranty via its charity shop in Old Swan.

All money made from the project has been invested back into the charity to provide work, training and placements for local unemployed adults in the collection, selection, refurbishment and sale of reusable appliances. This has resulted in the creation of six full time jobs.

Greg Walker OBE, Operations Director CREATE UK Ltd, said:  “This is a real plus to be able to supply quality refurbished appliances to low income households at affordable prices, rather than seeing them simply scrapped. It’s also a great example of partnership working between the public, private and charity sectors to benefit the people of Merseyside.”

Kevin Day is one former trainee who has been impacted positively by the scheme. Kevin was initially supported at CREATE on a six month training contract funded by the Liverpool charity Commutual which then led to a full time position at CREATE in the workshops. Kevin said: “I’ve been training at CREATE for six months and I was delighted that I’ve now got a proper full time job with them and feel a real part of the team.”

The £25,000 funding came from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Local Project Fund, part of the nationwide Distributor Takeback Scheme which supports the repair and re-use of white goods appliances.

CREATE UK had an agreement with REPIC (the UK’s largest Producer Compliance Scheme), Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and resource management company Veolia, granting it access to Merseyside and Halton’s Household Waste Recycling Centres and Waste Transfer Stations, which receive most of the region’s household waste.

Councillor Tony Concepcion, Chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, said: “These are great figures which means a huge amount of material hasn’t gone to waste. The grant has put CREATE UK on a good footing and hopefully means this venture will last as long as it is needed, which could be years. The creation of full time jobs is just as important as the diversion of waste and saving of materials.”

Wayne Copley, Procurement Director at REPIC, commented: “Unlocking the repair and reuse potential of white goods is key to being more efficient with our resources. We’re proud to have supported this ambitious project – refurbishing so many appliances is a fantastic achievement which has demonstrated how recycling works to both support the local community and reduce environmental impact.”

Laura Ashley Rattigan, Unit Manager at Viridor, said: “Viridor continues to be proud to support the MRWA cooling equipment contract and its partnership with CREATE, efficiently recycling all cooling equipment that is not suitable for reuse. This is carried out at Viridor’s site in St Helens, one of the UK’s leading WEEELABEX accredited plants.”

Such has been the success of the project that a new shop is being opened in Speke which will complement the existing shop in Old Swan, with CREATE aiming for an April opening date.


Notes to editors:

– Image caption: CREAKE UK staff and partners at the CREATE UK store in Old Swan, 22nd February 2019

CREATEUK_1: L to R Carl Beer (MRWA), Graham Hughes (CREATE UK), Greg Walker OBE (CREATE UK), Glynn Stevenson (MRWA)

CREATEUK_2: L to R Carl Beer (MRWA), Graham Hughes (CREATE UK), Greg Walker OBE (CREATE UK)

CREATEUK_3: L to R Carl Beer (MRWA), Graham Hughes (CREATE UK), Greg Walker OBE (CREATE UK)

– CREATE UK is a registered charity and limited company that has been trading in Merseyside since 1995. It provides training, work experience and full time employment for long term unemployed adults. Shop online at

– Partners in the project are: CREATE UK, Halton Council, Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, Producer Compliance Scheme REPIC, Veolia and Viridor.

– Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside residents.

– MRWA operates (via a contract with resource management company Veolia) 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC’s) for householders in the Merseyside area wishing to recycle and dispose of their own waste.