Charity in metal
Image provided courtesy of Alupro
Karen Nash, a resident of York in the UK, and a mother of two, has raised more than £16,000 for The Snappy Trust charity over the past ten years, by collecting and selling used metal packaging.
The Snappy Trust is a city centre initiative in York dedicated to maximising the personal development of young people with disabilities. From an early age, Nash’s eldest son was offered support through the charity, so Nash founded the initiative Foil For Snappy, as a way to give back.
When Nash first set out, there was not a dedicated kerbside aluminium foil recycling for households in York. By positioning dedicated collection bins in public car parks and accepting donations from local residents, Nash turned her garden into a small-scale waste handling facility, using it to separate and grade thousands of used packaging items, including cans and household cables.
As awareness grew, so did the volumes, and Nash eventually eventually sought volunteers to help her snowballing success. Since collecting her very first item, Nash has sorted and sold almost 29 tonnes of recyclable material, and has diverted the equivalent of 20 million mince pie cases, 687,000 beverage cans, 26,000 baked bean tins and 145,000 USB charging cables from landfill.
That’s no mean feat. In 2019, she was awarded the Every Can Counts Green Can Award, and was also presented with the ‘Best Community Recycling Initiative’ at the 2019 Awards for Excellence in Recycling & Waste Management.
With the council in York having recently introduced aluminium foil to its kerbside collection service, Nash is now stepping down from her fundraising activities.
Commenting on the journey, Karen said, “When I founded Foil For Snappy, I thought that it could be a clever way to raise money for charity, while also improving local recycling rates. Little did I know that this one small decision would see me embark on a ten-year community campaign!
“It’s been hugely rewarding and I’m delighted to have been able to raise so much for such a worthwhile cause. However, now that the council has introduced foil into its kerbside collections, I can take a much needed step back knowing that the city’s used aluminium packaging is in safe hands.
“I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the residents who have donated their packaging over the past ten years, as well as friends, family and complete strangers who have offered their time voluntarily. Collectively, we’ve shown the true value of metal recycling.”
What a great story to hear this week. Congratulations to Nash for double good work over the past decade, for both charity and the environment. Sometimes it takes the hearts of a good few members of the public to spur governments into action.
- Alex Rivers (she/her), CanTech International editor
Keep in touch via email: [email protected] Twitter: @CanTechIntl or LinkedIn: CanTech International magazine.