Exeter recycling scheme receives national recycling award
Last week, Exeter City Council and Exeter City Football Club (ECFC) were awarded a ‘Green Can Award’ by Every Can Counts for their recycling scheme ‘Cans 4 City’.
Launched by ECFC in 2005 as a means to support the club financially, the initiative encourages fans to recycle their used drink cans whilst raising money for charity. In 2019, Cans 4 City partnered with Exeter City Council, with the programme now operating more than 20 aluminium recycling points throughout Exeter and Devon, and collecting nearly seven tonnes of aluminium packaging since 2020.
The programme partners with the Exeter City Community Trust to raise money for local initiatives. Since 2020, more than £6,000 has been raised in support of the Trust’s Supported Housing project and programmes run by the football club, including a mental health programme for ECFC Academy and ECFC’s Women’s Team. The scheme further supports litter picks and beach cleans throughout the local area.
Matt Hulland, Resource Recovery Manager for Exeter City Council, stated: “We’re so glad that our work is being celebrated with this national award. Cans 4 City has achieved so much already, thanks to our amazing volunteers and the club’s fans too, as they’ve contributed more than half of the aluminium cans recycled since 2020.
“I really think we’ve tapped into something clever with this initiative. By unlocking the monetary value of our waste, we’ve succeeded in helping both the planet and our local community.”
Cllr David Harvey, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor for City Management, added: “This is a great initiative, not only helping the environment by preventing cans going to waste unnecessarily, but also helping raise valuable funding for Exeter City Community Trust. I can’t speak more highly of the scheme which is fully deserving of its recognition at national level.”
Every Can Counts’ Programme Manager, Chris Latham-Warde, said: “We were extremely impressed with what Cans 4 City has accomplished. Not only has the initiative helped to keep a huge number of endlessly recyclable drink cans in circulation, but the money raised by doing so has been put to good use in the local area.
“This is a fantastic example of a community-led project working with its local council to deliver real benefits to both the local community and the wider environment. We hope other organisations around the country get inspired by what Cans 4 City has achieved and follow in the footsteps of this great initiative.”