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A Job Opportunity Through Recycling

ByMike Paul

Oct 25, 2020

He got his life’s job in jail The 36yearold Sevillian Francisco Javier Aguilera PacoHe found the job he’s been in for six years when he was paying a nine-month sentence Ecoembes launched a program to promote the separation of waste and provide training in prisons in 2014 After 300 hours of classes 80 hours of practice and several years of experience Paco controls the plastic melting furnaces at the recycling plant in Seville Condaplast “They gave us a talk when I was in prison and I was interested I was curious I realized that you could take advantage of garbage he says.

The project that Ecoembes started in prisons and social insertion centers has been extended to other groups such as victims of sexist violence or the longterm unemployed thanks to an alliance they signed with Fundación La Caixa in 2017 Under the name Recycle to change lives They have trained and facilitated work for 866 people with a future more complicated than their past.

Paco started as a plastics separator at Condaplast the plant seven kilometers from his home in Seville that turns some waste from the yellow bin into garbage bags “I stuck for three or four years in that position Now I change the filters of the ovens and manage the parameters from a screen to remove 1000 kilos of pellets every hour those little lentils that later become plastic coils ” he explains My progress has been quite satisfactory qualifies this father of a 12yearold girl who alternates eight-hour shifts in the morning afternoon or evening.

Shift jobs are bloody hell Either you get up early a lot in exchange for having the afternoon off or you spend your time sleeping but the day goes by at work or at night you enjoy the peace of the night in exchange for getting home when the dogs start to come down with their owners Paco hesitates a bit but opts for tomorrows from 6 to 14 “You get up at 5 but the day is spent in nothing You haven’t noticed 12 o’clock arrives and you only have two hours left to go out ”he says.

The 30yearold from Alicante is of the same opinion as Ramiro Silvestre who handles the bull in the materials separation area of ​​a recycling plant in Elda Alicante with about 40 employees Ramiro like Paco accessed his job thanks to training and subsequent internships in a waste treatment company Until his inclusion in the program this father of four had interspersed low-skilled temporary jobs with social benefits.

He has occasionally worked in the fields he has made skeletons of sofas of mattresses In the footwear sector a very powerful industry in the area What was coming out he sums up Now I do have a stable job he acknowledges.

Paco who recognizes with the right importance that his work is good summarizes the change of scenery that he has experienced in recent years “I was attracted to recycling it made me curious I saw a future Now I have a legal life and a good salary ” This Sevillian who usually spends his free weekends with his family in a little plot that his cousin has charges between 1100 and 1200 euros the salary fluctuates depending on some bonuses such as the one for night work Condeplast works 247 as they say in the Anglo-Saxon countries “Of course I had to give up going out But this made up for me more It took me at an age when I had to fight for something to sacrifice myself ” explains this permanent employee.

It is the same contractual situation that Ramiro enjoys After finishing the initial one-year contract they made him permanent at Reciclajes Elda This familiar man lives with his wife and their four children aged 13 11 7 and 4 years in Villena an Alicante town of 34000 inhabitants on the border with Albacete and Murcia “Now we have less stress” summarizes this warehouse worker who learned about the project Recycle to change lives through social services.

“I pointed to everything The training is always good,” says Ramiro who has gone through various positions within the plant First I worked on the press that separates cuts and shreds waste from the blue container paper and cardboard Now classify plastic in another area of ​​the warehouse Earn around 1000 euros for an eight-hour shift in the morning or afternoon.

Recycle to change lives has created 230 green jobs for young people in social guarantee unemployed with difficult exit victims of sexist violence or former inmates of prisons so far this year despite the covid They have the collaboration of 36 companies in the recycling sector One of them is the Defesa Group which has five plants in the Community of Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha Borja Fernández is its deputy director Of the fifty employees that make up Defesa Madrid three come from the job placement program he says Fernández describes the initial role of the associated companies.

“They have the theoretical knowledge and the practices give them another point of view They understand the why of many things ” The work they carry out consists of screening separating and selecting waste mostly paper and cardboard.

Ramiro aspires to obtain permission to operate a backhoe larger and heavier than the bull or the manitou another vehicle with which he handles waste “They have shaped me over time You don’t get stuck here ”he says Paco thinks he still needs a little more time to become a manager “He has a lot of responsibility But I’m not saying no ” says this worker who when colleagues have been lacking in other sections they have always pulled him.

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