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HA's environmental work helps homeless

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Environment and also in Communities, Housing

Peter Tomcik Peter Tomcik

A housing association's recycling initiative has offered a lifeline to homeless people.

Northwards Housing has teamed up with homeless charity The Mustard Tree to help get people back into work.

The charity's Standfirm enterprise clears out void properties left by Northwards’ tenants who have died or who have left their flats suddenly. If they are in good condition, the contents are given to the Mustard Tree which donates them to those in need, or sells them to raise money for the charity.

The remainder of the contents are taken to a recycling centre where they are stripped down and recycled by other homeless volunteers. If possible, they are repaired and taken back to the Mustard Tree for donation or resale.

The project has so far prevented more than 500 tonnes of rubbish from going to landfill.

Mike Green, director at StandFirm, said: “It costs quite a lot of money to send rubbish to the tip.

“What we’ve done is to find a way to save that money and save the environment too. We’re giving people valuable skills which will help them get back on their feet and develop their CVs, as well as providing a service to tenants in north Manchester.

“It is great for the local area and we are very proud of what we have achieved.”

Larry Patrick, director of property services at Northwards Housing, said: “We really want to support the local community and think that this is a really good way to help people back on their feet.

“Standfirm make people’s lives better and that’s something we can all get behind.”

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