A new organisation is fighting back against society's 'throwaway culture'.

Former offender in the 2000s, John Hastings has managed to turn his life around and started Recycle-IT! in May 2021.

The idea behind it focuses on recycling computer equipment, and then refurbishing it, and selling it at a fraction of the typical price.

The company recently opened in Market Place shopping centre, and has just had some new signs installed, and is currently trying to make the site more comfortable.

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Some of the plans for the future include adding some artwork and making it into a digital hub, which already includes allowing people to come and use some laptops for free.

John said: “It’s a social recycling model that helps the community and opens doors to them.

The Bolton News: From left to right: Kai Kendall (Assistant eBay manager and volunteer) Owner John Hastings, and social media coordinator Simon JonesFrom left to right: Kai Kendall (Assistant eBay manager and volunteer) Owner John Hastings, and social media coordinator Simon Jones (Image: Newsquest)“We are very excited as to what the future holds and proud of everything everyone has achieved.

“The volunteers here have come from different courses and programmes, so we are hiring and helping to create a workforce for people in the community as we build it up.”

The collection service will also expand as the business grows in popularity, and John hopes they will be able to have electric vehicles to help the process.

The Bolton News: Where people are able to use laptops for freeWhere people are able to use laptops for free (Image: Newsquest)John said: “We are breaking down barriers with computers, including some volunteers who are on T-level courses here, which gives them the confidence and the skills.

“People can drop their old devices to help divert it from landfill, and we will fix them and refurbish them.”

John also gives opportunities to ex-offenders through their probation courses and plans to do some workshops around AI and helping people feeling digitally included.

John said: “I have been to prison and offended before, and people need the chance to move on, and I want Recycle-IT! to be that place.

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“Reduction rates are drastically reduced if people have something to focus on.”

The organisation relies mostly on donations and grants, and John says making it to three years is a great achievement since a large percentage of social enterprises don’t make to this level.

Customers can donate to the organisation or order something to collect via their official website.

John has asked for any businesses to get in touch if they able to help with any shop fittings.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.