Street Cleaners’ collections create children’s charity cash
BIG-hearted street cleaners in Liverpool have become real-life alchemists by turning fly tipped junk into charity gold.
And in the process they’ve salvaged a cool £20,000 for a city cause that works with children with life-threatening conditions.
Liverpool Street Scene Limited’s (LSSL) fly tipping team is called out to clean up after irresponsible tippers every day of the week. At any one time up 15 officers are at work taking unsightly and potentially dangerous heaps of junk away from communities across Liverpool.
The thrifty team makes sure that junk such as old fridges, cookers, tyres and wood are sent away to be recycled. But until fairly recently any odd bits of discarded metal they found went straight to landfill.
All that changed when crew member Frank Bellis came up with the idea of weighing the metal waste in with a local scrap merchant.
Street scene Operations Manager Adrian Devers explained: “Disposing of the waste metal used to be costly and not very environmentally friendly so when this idea came up it was the right thing to do. Not only did it solve the disposal problem but it also provided an instant source of cash.”
“The team and managers decided that any money we collected from the recycling of the scrap metal should go to a good cause in Liverpool.”
The workers came up with the name Trash for Cash for the project and set aside a special collection skip at the Street Scene depot on Newton Road. Any reclaimed metal is sorted and stored in the skip before being weighed in at nearby North West Steel and Recycling.
Over the past two years the crew has gathered more than £19,000 in scrap with the generous metal merchants donating the rest to make it up to a round £20k.
The chosen charity was Zoe’s Place Children’s Hospice in West Derby. The hospice provides a range of services including therapies and respite care for children with life-limiting and life-threatening illness aged 0 to six and their families.
Founded by Professor Jack Scarisbrick MBE in 1995 – the facilities caters for six children and their families. At any one time the hospice works with more than 50 local families.
Zoe’s Place Fundraising Manager Carol Kirkham said: “The treatments we offer include hydrotherapy, art and play therapy which not only help the children with their conditions but also contribute towards their growth and development. We have decided to use the money collected by Street Scene to continue to fund these vital services which will benefit many families and children for years to come.”
Carol added: “It’s a fantastic gesture and everyone involved with the hospice is thrilled with the level of support we have received from the team. It’s helping us to help babies and children and it’s also benefiting the environment, so everyone wins.”
And it doesn’t stop there because the Street Scene team has decided that it will continue to support Zoe’s Place with its metal collections on a permanent basis.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr James Noakes, said: “This is a great initiative that is creating something extremely positive from a negative situation.
“Fly-tipping is a blight on our communities which costs the council many thousands of pounds a year to clean up. Not only that but it is potentially dangerous and illegal. If you are caught fly tipping you could face prosecution.
“The fly tipping team do great work in cleaning up after those selfish and irresponsible people who fly tip and now they are doing great work for Zoe’s Place as well. Ultimately, we would prefer it if no-one fly-tipped in our communities but as long as this behaviour persists it’s reassuring to know that some good in coming of it.”
Residents can report fly tipping issues by visiting Liverpool City Council’s website; liverpool.gov.uk and searching for ‘flytipping’.
Photo shows Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson presenting the charity cheque to Zoe’s place mascot Zoe Bear, along with Liverpool City Council Director of Community Services Ron Odunaiya, crew members Len Rowan, Peter Killey, David Gibney, Peter Crawley, and Frank Bellis and Cabinet Member for the Environment Cllr James Noakes.