The Collector Highlight section shines a light on the TerraCycle collectors who want to share details of their initiatives, the charities they collect for and share some useful tips for other collectors. Sue has been a collector for more than 7 years, raising more than £18,000 for a variety of different charities! Sue has recently been featured on BBC Breakfast at her collection point at Sudz Cleaners in Lancing, as she discussed the importance of recycling crisp packets. We had a chat with her and she agreed to answer our questions about her experience as a TerraCycle public location administrator.
When did you start collecting with TC and which programmes are you involved in?
I first started collecting in 2011 and I have been part of all programmes apart from the Writing Instruments Programme (as it’s for schools) and AeroCycle. I am currently collecting for EllaCycle, Tassimo & L’Or Recycling Programme, The Air and Home Care Recycling Programme, The Colgate Oral Care Recycling Programme, The Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme, The Personal Care and Beauty Recycling Programme, The Pet Food Recycling Programme, The pladis Biscuits and Snacks Recycling Programme as well as The Pringles Can Recycling Programme.
How much waste have you collected so far?
In total I have collected 1,217,975 pieces of waste so far. My largest collected waste stream has been coffee capsules, with more than 970,000 pieces collected. I’ve also collected more than 141,000 pieces of biscuit, cracker and cake wrappers on the pladis Biscuits and Snacks Recycling Programme and more than 29,656 pieces of air and home care products / packaging on the Air and Home Care Recycling Programme!
Which charity are you collecting for? Which project(s) will the money go towards?
I am collecting for various charities and local groups; NSPCC, Care for Veterans, Dogs Trust, TS Intrepid, Nautical Training Corps, Local Beavers and Cubs, Lancing and Sompting Concert Band… to name a few!
Any tips that you could share to collect more waste?
I would recommend making use of Facebook. I decided to set up the Recycling in Lancing Facebook page and it has been a great way to inform people that we can recycle more than just what the council takes. It reaches a wider audience than I could on my own as people “share” the page. It also allows people to check the list of items we accept and for them send me a photo of an item if they’re unsure.
My next tip would be to have your own recycling page as not everyone uses Facebook. The Recycling in Lancing website was set up and is managed by a good friend of mine who runs his own business, Seaside Creative. I keep the Facebook page up to date, he does the web page.I am very aware that not everyone uses the internet or Facebook so I would recommend attaching a plastic holder to put in printed list of items I collect printed, so people can take them away with them.
It’s a good idea to print lists of the items you want and attach it to the bins. George Thomson is the master at posters and has done many for me as well as other TerraCycle collectors. We all try to help each other.
Lastly, be sure to always have collection bins where it is easy for people to get to, somewhere they usually go, so they don’t have to make special trip. My best located collection bin is in my local Sainsburys, followed closely by the Co-op one, and the garden centre.
How do you raise awareness amongst children on the importance of recycling?
I have given talks to local Brownies, Cubs and Beavers. I took items from of every waste stream I collect for, as well as a really good PowerPoint presentation that TerraCycle made, and I was really surprised at how much they knew about recycling and what the items had come from! The children were attentive and engaged well with the topic.
Do you have any funny anecdote to share about your collection?
Nothing funny but we do get a huge amount of rubbish where people “think” it’s the same packaging, and they don’t check the notices. In the past we have had; a pair of gardening gloves, a bike light, a retractable dog lead, spectacles, marigold gloves, plastic bags, and the real worst one was a used baby’s nappy. Please don’t forget to check the notices before leaving your waste in the collection box!
City, address and opening times of the public drop off location
I manage a variety of public drop off locations in the Adur and Worthing District. You can find the full details for the public drop off locations here.
Do you want your collecting to gain visibility? Would you like to talk about it and share your experience and tips? To be featured in our “Collector Highlight” section, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook message TerraCycle UK.