Environment

Family Turns Driveway into Neighborhood Recycling Hub

When they got fed up with their council's confusing recycling rules, they came up with their own solution.


Following all the rules on where and what to recycle can be frustrating. Should all plastics go in the same bin? Glass or no glass? And sometimes, requirements change from neighborhood to neighborhood, making things even more confusing.

For English couple Hannah and Danny Iwanejko, the answer came after watching the BBC's Planet Earth series.

"The moment I decided to do something myself was [my daughter's] first birthday in August," Hannah told SWNS-TV . "I saw what was going on in the Amazon and the war on plastic and David Attenborough's programs. So I thought: 'Hang on a second, I can do my bit. I need a central point where people can easily recycle.'"

The couple, who are both maintenance engineers, got to work building their own centralized recycling center in their driveway. Danny built the hub mostly out of scrap material, and they posted clear, easy-to-read signs with directions for sorting above each bin. The center takes toothbrushes and toothpaste containers, bread bags, tetra packs and cleaned baby/dog food pouches.

(Source: Hannah Iwanejko Facebook )

While the two built the mini-collection center in hopes that the people in their neighborhood would use it, they say it's been growing.

"It was just meant for the community," Hannah said. "But now people are coming with their waste from outside the village and people from all over are contacting me asking how to do it themselves."

Hannah Iwanejko stands in front of their homemade green waste hub.

(Source: SWNS-TV )

When the bins are full, the Iwanejkos take the materials to TerraCycle, a company that specializes in processing hard-to-recycle items. The raw material then goes to make children's playgrounds.

You may have read our previous Sparkt story about TerraCycle's innovative program to collect razors in order to divert them from landfills.

Recycle Your Razors: Companies Partner to Offer First-Ever Program

With the new sorting hub getting lots of media attention this week, Hannah took to her personal Facebook page to call out some of the news outlets that were printing false information about their project or missing important details.

A media crew sets up to film a story on the new recycling center.

(Source: @hannahiwan )

"So, we are a family that just wanted to make a little bit of difference to the planet by encouraging our community to recycle a bit more," she wrote. "That's it. Nothing fancy, nothing clever."

If you are interested in starting your own recycling program with TerraCycle, you can find more information on their website.

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