A NEW recycling plant will create 300 jobs for vulnerable people and ex-prisoners.
Kirklees Cabinet has given social enterprise company Think3e funding to set up a plastics recycling site in Dewsbury.
The organisation hopes to divert 100 tonnes of plastic from landfill each month by re-using and re-manufacturing waste.
And the eco-plant at Calder Bank Mills in Scout Hill will open next month, providing disadvantaged local people with skills, accredited training, work experience and employment.
Managing Director Marcus Baldry told the Examiner Think3e will begin recruiting their first 25 apprentices this week and they hope to employ some 300 people by the end of this year.
He said: “Think3e are a young dynamic can-do business, and the only thing we can’t recycle is wasted time.
“Our new Dewsbury operation is not just an investment in the people and communities of Kirklees, but an investment in our environment’s sustainability.
“We look forward to inviting local stakeholders in the company to our grand opening in early February.”
Think3e will invest £250,000 into the project and has also been given a £100,000 grant from Kirklees Council’s Dewsbury Neighbourhood Programme to pay for the first six months’ rent and new machinery.
Green councillor Andrew Cooper, who represents Newsome on Kirklees Council, said: “This is a really positive project and it’s great because people who do recycle and use their green bins can actually see where their waste is going.
“They know their waste is going to be recycled and put to good use and it builds confidence in recycling – even better that local people are benefiting from it and being employed.
“It is incredibly inspiring and exciting and we need more of these sorts of things in Kirklees.”
Kirklees Council hope the business will help meet goals to regenerate Dewsbury.
A second phase could see an ‘urban eco park’ with other recycling and environmental firms developed around Think3e’s site allowing them to share customer links and supply of goods and services.
Batley West councillor Shabir Pandor said: “This is a good thing for Dewsbury and will help provide real opportunities to gain employment skills for some of those who need them most.”
A council spokesman said vacancies would be filled through Jobcentre Plus, the internet, local employment initiatives and recruitment days, including community visits by the Think3e bus.