Steve started voluntary work at an early age, taking part in canal restoration projects. He volunteered and later worked for, the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers working with groups of long-term unemployed people in Manchester and Liverpool doing practical conservation work and leading working holidays in the UK and around Europe. He later joined the environmental charity Groundwork working on landscape restoration and forestry projects in the urban fringe. Over the following years Steve progressed to Regional Programmes Manager, managing a portfolio of programmes funded by external sponsors.
He then took a role with industry-funded trade body Alupro, to support the development of recycling for aluminium packaging throughout northern UK, working with traditional collectors, community groups and local authorities.
Prior to joining CPI, Steve was employed by Exeter City Council to develop and manage an in-house integrated recycling programme, including kerbside collections for all households in the city with sorting carried out at the City Council owned MRF.