A mum-of-three has recycled more than a TONNE of rubbish after setting up a drop off point in her garden shed for people to leave items binmen don’t collect.
Liz Pinfield-Wells, 43, built the DIY recycling centre following the birth of her third child after she realised she couldn’t recycle his baby food pouches.
The environmentally-conscious mum found many items such as crisp packets and toothbrushes were not included in weekly council kerbside collections.
So she set up a drop-off point at the end of her driveway in Dawley, Telford, Shrops., and encouraged the public to leave their mixed recycled items.
Since starting her green project four years ago, Liz has recycled 1.2 tonnes of trash and raised thousands for her local community in the process.
At first, Liz placed a couple of boxes at the end of her drive but her 6m x 2m shed is now stacked with labelled wheelie bins to help locals reduce their landfill waste.
Liza, an adult support worker, says dozens of residents use her drop-off point every week and over 30 different household items can now be recycled there.
She added: “Our family has always done what we can, where we can as a household to help reduce our carbon footprint and recycle as much as possible.
“We only have a small pot for rubbish to go to landfill in our kitchen and everything else we recycle.
“My son Albert is four now, but I had him quite a while after my other two children, so when he was born there were a lot of new products out there made of mixed recycling.
“Lots of them like the squeezy food pouch packages were mixed plastic and I didn’t know how to recycle these through the council so this is when I launched my own recycling hub.
“I then discovered other items such as crisp packets and toothbrushes that were harder to recycle so added these to the list of things people could drop off.
“We take Pringles tubes too and these items have metal and plastic in so they really shouldn’t be put in your kerbside bin.
“Setting up the recycling drop-off hub in my front garden has hopefully helped the community to recycle more.
“It can sometimes seem a little daunting knowing where to start with recycling but with every small step, it gets that little bit easier.
“I definitely think it has helped to raise awareness to my children about the need to recycle more too.”
Since launching in March 2019, Liz has collected 1.2 tonnes of litter which she has mostly been recycled through the company TerraCyle.
Every month, she sends off rubbish in vacuum packed bags to the firm, who shred it into small plastic pellets to be made into other items such as watering cans and benches.
The weight of the junk is then converted into points for money which can be paid out twice a year to charity or sports organisation of her choice.
In the last three years, Liz has raised more than £1,000 which she has donated to her 14-year-old daughter Zoe’s gymnastic group to buy new equipment.
She has also donated a sum of the money to another local charity to buy woodchips for their community garden.
Items included on the list she recycles include Pringles tubes, bread wax wraps, home hygiene packaging, plastic bread wrappers, cheese bags, pens, rubber gloves, printer ink and used postage stamps.
Liz, whose Facebook group now has more than 1,000 members, added: “Nearly all the items that we collect are sent off and recycled through TerraCycle.
“The only exceptions to this are items like the printer ink or used postage stamps, but there are still all recycled, just through a different company.
“I hope that the recycling hub will just grow even more now and then eventually it will be moved to the new Climate Action hub Telford when they find a new premises.
“We want to raise lots more money through recycling rubbish so we can help more people in the community out.
“At the end of the day, through my trustee position and my recycling centre, I just want to help people do their bit for the climate emergency crisis.”