UK recycling groups win national award

David, and Janice Lipscombe with their award, Kings Worthy, Winchester, 12 March 2024. Image: ECC

Two UK recycling groups are celebrating after being recognised in a national awards scheme that champions outstanding recycling efforts.

The groups, Aluminium Can Recyclers for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Recycle for Kicks Count NI, were named winners of the Green Can Award by not-for-profit organisation, Every Can Counts (ECC), in recognition of their achievements after collectively raising almost £40,000 for charity.

Run by husband-and-wife duo, Janice and David Lipscombe, Aluminium Can Recyclers for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance was first formed in September 2019 and now has over 239 members on Facebook, with even more in the Hampshire community.

From houses to pubs, clubs, church halls, and even a vineyard, the team work tirelessly to collect aluminium cans and other metal items in Hampshire and the surrounding counties. Any items they gather are then sold to local recyclers with all of the profits donated to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

Recycle for Kicks Count NI, run by Vicky Seviour-Crockett in Ulster, has over 5,000 members on Facebook and focuses on recycling used aluminium cans, food wrappers, and items that are more difficult to dispose of such as cosmetic and cleaning product packaging.

First formed in 2014, the group now has 41 recycling points across Northern Ireland and all proceeds made through their recycling is donated to Kicks Count, a UK charity working to reduce stillbirth and neonatal death rates.

Collectively, the groups have recycled over 10,000kg of aluminium with the funds donated to their charity partners playing a vital role supporting them in the work they do.

Janice Lipscombe, leader of Aluminium Can Recyclers for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance, said: “We’re so grateful for the support Every Can Counts has given us and couldn’t be prouder of our team after winning the Green Can Award.

“When we first began collecting recyclable items back in September 2019, we were only able to make a £12 donation to Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance but since then it’s completely snowballed, with us now giving over 50 times that amount monthly.

“We could never have predicted the success we’ve seen and wouldn’t have been able to pull it off without the help of each and every member of our growing team, including Alison and Martin Kukla, who are a great support in the Winchester area.”

Vicky Seviour-Crockett, leader of Recycle for Kicks Count NI, said: “It’s really rewarding to have all our hard work acknowledged by an organisation that makes such a difference to the environment.

“From a couple of collection points in Ulster to over 41 across the whole of Northern Ireland, I’m super proud of our team for raising funds for Kicks Count. It is a charity that is very close to my heart, and I credit it with saving the life of my son, so anything we can do to give back to them and help other families is fantastic.”

Chris Latham-Warde, programme manager at Every Can Counts, added: “Both Aluminium Can Recyclers for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Recycle for Kicks Count NI are an inspiration and so deserving of our Green Can Award.

“The difference they’re making within their local communities is not only impressive, but it also sets a great example of how people can get involved in increasing aluminium recycling rates whilst also raising money for charities such as Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance and Kicks Count.

“Aluminium can be recycled time after time and every empty drink can could be recycled and back on sale as a brand-new can in just 60 days. We look forward to seeing these groups continue to make a difference and we hope they inspire others across the UK and Ireland to set-up community-based recycling initiatives of their own.”    

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