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  • Neil Le Milliere


Updated: Mar 1, 2021

Since July 2020 the 'Cans4City' scheme has recycled a huge 2.29 tonnes of crushed cans which has generated an amazing £1,633.05!

It is an incredible achievement so far by all involved, so this week we caught up with Matt Hulland to learn more about the initiative and to discover what is happening in Cans4City's bid to reach £2,021 in 2021!

"I am the Resource Recovery Manager for Exeter City Council. Part of my remit is to manage and establish end markets for the materials from the Material Reclamation Facility where we sort all Exeter’s recycling from the green bin household collection system.

"I also explore and build other commercial or community partnerships around sustainability or carbon reduction through recycling activities or repurposing. Examples of such partnerships have been Recycling for Ellie’s fund and currently are Ocean Recovery Project, Odyssey Innovation’s Net and Marine Regeneration schemes.

"I approached Andy Holloway around June/July 2020 about the existing C4C collections that I had seen in place whilst attending matches with my two boys (seems so long ago!!) and if I could offer any assistance. In tangency at that time I had approached Justin Quick about the club’s main recycling outlet and if there was also scope to take other recyclables and offer some innovative ways of thinking about recycling.

"Through my conversation with Andy it was clear to me, as I have access to more specialist recycling routes, I could assist in reaching markets and higher prices for the aluminium cans than was currently being achieved. We started to collect cans in July 2020 and deliver them to the Exeter facility for recycling back into can body ingot which happens in either Warrington or West Bromwich. The cans have stayed in the UK recycling system and supported the UK circular economy model.

"Since July 2020 we have recycled 2.5 tonnes of cans (around 180k of them!) which has raised £1,802 that the club has used for purposes Andy can go into. I have an aim to achieve £2,021 by the end of this season. We are on course for this due to the incredible community that has further evolved."

Current collection points and collectors are:

Exeter: Alphington – Alden Road (Karen Roast)

Co-op – Old Tiverton road (Ian White - manager)

Devon Yeoman - Beacon Heath

Mid Devon: Tiverton – (Frances Stoneman)

Crediton – (Matt Hulland)

Bow – (Brian Webber)

North Devon: Discussion about delivering directly into a recycling firm in Barnstaple underway

East Devon – Discussion with Co-op Cranbrook about hosting a drop off point

South Devon – David Jenkin brings some up to the club

"There are many people dropping off to the above places and the main two collectors are Karen and Frances, they have bought in a huge % of what we have recycled so far.

"I have a wagon to collect the bulky amounts stored under the BB at SJP and trundle around on my travels in my car collecting from Karen mainly as she is very close to work. I can collect from Frances on occasion if I have business up that way. Building some strategically managed drop off points to capture North, South east and Mid Devon Grecians was my aim.

"What is amazing is to have this level of uptake during a time where there is no fan attendance at SJP!

"Hopefully we can improve even more when fans are allowed back and we can promote on match days too. I would hope to tie C4C into other community activities such as litter picking events as I can also recycle most other litter items people find. I also try and work with Jamie Vittles and Peter Ferlie over other trust events where waste management or recycling can benefit The Trust either financially or with responsible environmental messaging.

"I think that about sums it up from me really. Andy and Justin can comment on how they have put the funds to use and I remain as always happy to help such a great club and fan base however I can."

Our thanks to Matt for updating us on this fantastic initiative, and to everyone who has contributed so far in the bid to raise £2,021 in 2021.

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