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man recycling equipment at social enterprise ILM

ILM Highland

Reducing electrical waste, protecting the environment, and supporting vulnerable people to live at home.

We collect over 2,400 tonnes of electrical waste every year, covering an area bigger than Wales with a staff of just 15. We repair and recycle many products, passing them on to low-income families at low cost.
Martin Macleod, Chief Executive, ILM Highland Ltd

Combining a social purpose with a valuable service

Established in 1994, ILM Highland is an independent charity and social enterprise, providing home improvement services, electrical recycling and retail services to the Highlands of Scotland. Its the largest electrical recycler in the Highlands and Islands – with collections of electrical equipment coming from Kilchoan in the south to Thurso in the north, and from Skye in west to Moray in the east.

The original aim of the charity was to support people into sustainable employment, but as local needs changed, the remit of the charity has evolved – and today it provides home improvement services and support and advice to vulnerable people in our community, enabling them to maintain a higher level of independence and a better quality of life.

To support these services, ILM offers an extensive electrical recycling service – to the public and to businesses. It has an online shop, and runs an electrical retail shop from its base in Alness selling quality and affordable refurbished and new appliances. More recently, it has launched a spare parts and repair services for a large number of electrical appliances.

As a social enterprise, ILM reinvests all profits back into the local community. 

Visit the ILM website

ILM Recycling 2

A 'WEEE' bit of effort makes a huge difference to our environment

Each year, ILM Highland’s Electrical Waste Service collects and recycles around 2,400 tonnes of electrical waste including all major domestic appliances such as cookers, washing machines, fridge freezers and vacuum cleaners.

ILM collects from all of the Highland Council’s household waste recycling centres across the region – and in late 2020 introduced a new small electricals recycling scheme. The network of ten WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment) recycling bins are placed at strategic locations throughout Easter Ross.

The distinctive pink WEEE bins can be used for recycling smaller items such as old mobile phones, hair dryers, kettles, irons, laptops, games consoles and much more in a safe, convenient and environmentally-conscious way.

ILM has also provided a Business Electrical Waste service to businesses across the North of Scotland including collection and drop off options for the past 15 years. Helping business to ensure legal compliance in terms of electrical waste disposal – and more recently also offering the confidential destruction of hard drives.

ILM Working

Developing skills

ILM is committed to supporting the local labour market by creating jobs within its business and offering training and work experience positions to upskill those in the local community. They’re currently employing four placements through the Government’s Kickstart scheme, which provides funding and support to create new job opportunities for 16-24 year-olds. And the business has taken on two placements through Community Jobs Scotland – helping to prepare young people for work.

Opportunities include in the electrical repair team – working on refurbished appliances that will be re-sold in the ILM shop and via the ILM website – and others work in ILM’s extensive electrical recycling operations. The trainees learn to identify the most valuable IT components used in computers and laptops which can then be removed and sent for recycling via specialist suppliers.

Other young trainees have been given opportunities to learn the ins and outs of running a social enterprise, and to support ILM’s fundraising efforts as it continues to provide lifeline services to those in the community that need them the most.

Meet the ILM Kickstart trainees in the ILM news release

Strongest Man Support For ILM

Spares and Repairs service

In June 2021 ILM introduced its new Spares and Repairs Service – to help address the new ‘right to repair’ rules being introduced by the UK Government – and is now supplying spare parts to mend most large domestic appliances including cookers, washing machines, tumble dryers, fridge/freezers and vacuum cleaners.

By giving people the option to repair, the aim of the new rules and the new service is not only to extend the life of electrical goods and help people save money, but also to further reduce the amount of electrical waste which are either being sent to landfill or even worse being disposed of irresponsibly and illegally.

Find out more

caption - World's Strongest Man, Alness' Tom Stoltman, popped round in Aug this year to add some strength to ILM's celebration for recycling 2054 tons of waste in the past year.


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