Eco-warrior couple fed up with council’s ‘rubbish’ recycling facilities sets up DIY collection point in their own driveway that accepts ALL plastics
- Hannah and Danny Iwanejko, 36, were inspired by David Attenborough
- The couple said they were frustrated by the lack of consistency at council sites
- Their centre accepts crisp packets, contact lenses, Tetra Pak packs and more
- Couple say they have diverted almost a ton of plastic and materials from landfill
An eco-warrior couple has diverted almost a ton of plastic and materials from landfill after setting up a free recycling centre, on their driveway.
Hannah and Danny Iwanejko, from Bilsthorpe, Nottinghamshire, have built their own green waste hub out of recycled wood and metal that accepts any kind of plastics.
The couple, who are both 36 and maintenance engineers with a one-year-old daughter, said they were frustrated with the lack of consistency when it comes to what can be recycled at council sites, calling the council’s green waste facilities ‘rubbish.’
Hannah (pictured) and Danny Iwanejko, from Bilsthorpe, Nottingham have built their own green waste hub out of recycled wood and metal which accepts any kind of plastics
‘The problem is there is no consistency across the council. One council say you can recycle this, this, this and this. Another council says you can recycle this, this, this and this. However, it is all recycled by the same people. Yet one bin allows something and another doesn’t. Why is it not across the board? Hannah said.
‘It is so frustrating that the council won’t take tetra, crisp packets and bread bags,’ she added. ‘People want to recycle but the council is not making it easy for us. There is so much bureaucracy and red tape in the way.’
In contrast the Iwanejiko’s centre accepts a raft of items including crisp packets, contact lenses, Tetra Pak packaging, coffee pods and baby food pouches.
The couple first came up with the idea after promoting recycling on Instagram.
Jessica Jackson, 9, deposits rubbish through the circular port holes of the Iwanejiko’s home recycling point at Bilsthorpe, Nottinghamshire, on Thursday
‘I’ve always been a bit of an eco-warrior,’ Hannah said.
She decided to take recycling matters into her own hands on daughter Robyn’s first birthday in August.
‘I saw what was going on in the Amazon and the war on plastic and David Attenborough’s programmes,’ Hannah said.
‘I didn’t want to put people off but I was surprised to see friends making changes I never thought would. I thought: ‘Hang on a second, I can do my bit. I need a central point where people can easily recycle,’ she said.
Husband Danny made the recycling hub out of scrap material.
‘It barely cost us anything … I put the rubbish in reusable plastic boxes in my VW T5,’ she added.
Hannah drives the waste to specialist recycling sites within a ten-mile radius of their home.
‘People are coming with their waste from outside and village and people from all over are contacting me asking how to do it themselves,’ Hannah said.
The couple said they were frustrated by the lack of consistency at council sites. Hannah pictured with the recycling centre on her driveway made by husband Danny
‘I never expected to make it this far. It was just meant for the community,’ she added.
‘Some people are going to think: ‘What is this woman doing?’ But others will recycle more.’
Hannah takes crisp packets to public drop-off locations paid for by Walkers and run by volunteers and bread bags to a Terracycle drop-off.
Terracycle, a recycling company focusing on hard-to-recycle items, collects the packets and shreds them into plastic pellets that become park benches, plant pots and watering cans.
Funded by businesses, the schemes are free for the public to use.
Jessica Jackson, 9, posts rubbish through the circular port holes of Hannah and Danny’s home recycling point that accepts any plastics
Hannah and Danny are now appealing for Newark and Sherwood District Council to improve the recycling facilities to prevent more complex materials being sent landfill.
Council spokesperson Rhona Holloway said: ‘I’m sure that’s something that’s going to be looked at and I’m sure in the future they will be able to.
‘But it’s about that can be safely recycled and how those different elements incorporated into waste can be isolated and used.’
HOW MUCH RECYCLING ENDS UP IN LANDFILL?
Every day, millions of us drop a plastic bottle or cardboard container into the recycling bin – and we feel we’re doing our bit for the environment.
But what we may not realise is that most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead.
Of 30 billion plastic bottles used by UK households each year, only 57 per cent are currently recycled, with half going to landfill, half go to waste.
Most plastic never gets recycled at all, often ending up in landfill or incineration depots instead. Around 700,000 plastic bottles a day end up as litter
Around 700,000 plastic bottles a day end up as litter.
This is largely due to plastic wrapping around bottles that are non-recyclable.
Every year, the UK throws away 2.5 billion ‘paper’ cups, amounting to 5,000 cups a minute.
Shockingly, less than 0.4 per cent of these are recycled.
Most cups are made from cardboard with a thin layer of plastic.
This lining keeps your coffee warm and stops the cardboard going soggy, but also makes the cup almost impossible to recycle.
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