You might know that recycling your empty drink cans is good news for the environment, but did you know it can also be good news for your local community? By taking your aluminium cans to a metal merchant or recycling centre which takes ‘cash for cans’, drink can recycling could be the perfect fundraising opportunity for community groups and charities who want to boost recycling rates while also raising money for a good cause.
Why Cash for Cans?
Aluminium packaging is one of the most valuable materials in your recycling bin. Many metal merchants offer between 30p-50p per kilo of drink cans collected and brought in for recycling. To give you an idea of quantity, approximately 80 aluminium cans make up a kilo.
Many people collect cans to raise money for a charity of their choice or to support a community project or initiative. If you need a bit of inspiration to get started with your own fundraising project, then you’re in the right place! We’re shining a spotlight on three amazing fundraising initiatives that have been made possible through drink can recycling. Not only have these projects improved drink can recycling rates in their area, but they’ve also raised vital funds for their community or a project close to their hearts. Let’s take a look at what they have achieved.
The Neasden Temple
First up in our trio of recycling heroes is BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London – which is otherwise known as the Neasden Temple. This temple opened in August 1995 was Europe’s first traditional Hindu stone temple, created by the vision of Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual leader of BAPS which is a worldwide charitable Hindu organisation.
This incredible temple, found in North West London, was constructed using traditional Hindu architectural methods, meaning that no structural steel was used. The Italian marble selected for this impressive building was sent to India to be carved by craftsmen and then shipped to London to be assembled into the Temple which stands today.
Between 1992 and 1995 a nation-wide recycling campaign was launched to fund the construction of the Neasden Temple. In less than three years, a massive total of over 7 million drink cans along with 91 tonnes of aluminium foil was collected by a group of young children involved in the initiative which provided BAPS with a grand total of £75,000, all of which helped to bring the Neasden Temple to life. This incredible feat is known to be one of the largest aluminium can recycling efforts run by a charitable organisation in the UK. But more than this, the initiative provided young children with a greater understanding of recycling and a sense of community involvement. Their recycling efforts and contribution to its construction, instilled the notion that the Neasden Temple was being built for both themselves and for future generations.
Want to learn more about the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir? Visit their website by clicking here.
Aluminium Can Recycling Group for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance
Next up, we are putting a spotlight on Janice and David Lipscombe who, back in 2019, began recycling aluminium drink cans to help raise funds for the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance. After their first donation of £12, word about their scheme spread across the community and inspired a growing number of people to join their recycling efforts.
From individuals to businesses; from scouts and guide groups to litter-picking groups; many people are now involved in the initiative, which has gained over 200 members on Facebook. They now have 37 recycling points set up across Hampshire, with locations ranging from a local church to a vineyard! These recycling bins are emptied once a month and the aluminium cans are then taken to an industrial recycling centre which offers ‘cash for cans’. Any money received from this exchange is then donated directly to Air Ambulance Hampshire & Isle of Wight.
Since starting the initiative four years ago, the group has collected approximately 9 tonnes of aluminium, which includes foil, tea light holders and wine tops, with their main source of income being recycled drink cans. Their recycling efforts have rewarded them with a grand total of £14,800 which has been donated directly to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.
Want to get involved? Click here to join their Facebook group!
The third fundraising project we want to shine a light on is the Exeter-based initiative, Cans4City. The scheme was originally founded in 2005 by Exeter Football Club and encourages Exeter football fans, who want to support the club, to recycle their empty drink cans and raise money for charity.
After partnering with Exeter City Council in 2019, Cans4City really started to take off within the local community. Working with the council’s waste management department, Cans4City now has over 20 aluminium recycling points throughout Devon and has collected more than 19 tonnes of drink cans.
Cans4City has raised over £15,400 from their recycling efforts, with all funds going towards projects and initiatives run both by the football club and its partner charity Exeter City Community Trust. Donations have been made towards a football kit for refugee team Exeter United, a mental health awareness programme for the ECFC Academy, purchasing a defibrillator for Cliff Hill training ground, as well as a number of improvements to St James Park and its Memorial Garden. Over the past year, a particularly proud moment for the group was putting the funds raised from their recycled drink cans towards the purchase of picnic benches made from plastic waste collected at the football club over the course of 9 months.
For more information about the scheme, please click here.
Ready to Get Started with ‘Cash for Cans’?
If you need a bit of inspiration to get started with your own recycling project, these groups are excellent examples to follow. Not only do they help the environment by recycling, but they also support their communities in significant ways.
So, if you’re feeling inspired and you want to start your own drink can collection scheme, then we’re here to support you! We provide cardboard recycling bins (designed for indoor use), bin stickers, and posters to help spread the word about the importance of drink can recycling and encourage others to get involved. We’re also happy to offer advice on finding a local metal merchant who offers ‘cash for cans’ and/or how to get the best price for your cans.
So, get in touch by sending us a message on our contact form or via any of our social media channels!