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Great North Run rubbish transformed


Sep 15, 2016

Groundwork North East & Cumbria has found a novel way of recycling some of the more than 100,000 water bottles used during the Great North Run.

With the help of a team of volunteers, the environmentally-friendly social enterprise has used water bottles discarded during the world-famous run to create a greenhouse at Campground Visitor and Education Centre in Gateshead.

The project marked the first day of Recycle Week, which aims to highlight the importance of recycling, reusing and repurposing items. This year’s theme of ‘The Unusual Suspects’ includes items not always recycled, such as aerosol cans; plastic shampoo bottles; soap dispensers; bleach bottles and spray cleaners.

Wendy Fail, Visitor and Education Centre Coordinator for Groundwork NE & Cumbria, said: “Recycle Week is an ideal time to raise awareness around the importance of recycling and reusing items, and about making the right decisions about which items you chose to purchase or use.

“There are three water stations along the Great North Run route, each with 45,000 bottles. That’s 135,000 water bottles that need to be disposed of. By taking just a few hundred out of that cycle to create this greenhouse we are demonstrating that there are other useful and practical ways to use products, rather than just putting them in the bin.

“Throughout Recycle Week we will be travelling across Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland to inform people about their options, running lots of workshops and engaging with schools and young people. We hope there will be a ripple effect that encourages people to think twice before throwing things away.”

The Visitor centre at Campground Waste & Recycling Centre is operated by Groundwork North East & Cumbria in conjunction with the South Tyne and Wear Waste Management Partnership, which comprises Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland Councils, along with SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK.

By Emily