Salisbury Recycles for Medic to Medic raised £3,587 for charity by collecting and recycling “unrecyclable” items from the community.

Team leader and Medic to Medic trustee, Dr Bryony Hamel, and volunteer Naomi Spencer, have signed up to several of US-based recycling company TerraCycle’s free recycling programmes that aim to recycle hard-to-recycle items, including the Sistema Food Storage Container and Reusable Bottle Free Recycling Programme which enables her to set up a drop-off point for such items.

As well as food storage containers and drinks bottles, the items collected include biscuit and snack wrappers, Pringles tubes and personal care and beauty products. These items are not included in council kerbside recycling collections so have traditionally been destined for landfill or incineration.

Once dropped off at one of the group’s locations, the items are sent to TerraCycle, the world leader in recycling hard-to-recycle waste.

For every item collected, TerraCycle points are earned which are redeemed as monetary donations to the group’s chosen charity, Medic to Medic.

The group has several drop-off points in the Salisbury area, including at Flat 2 Pilgrims House, Pilgrims Way, Laverstovck, that is open to the community 24/7, 7 days a week. Local residents are encouraged to bring their “unrecyclable” items to the location to be recycled and help boost the group’s fundraising efforts.

Bryony said: “So far, we’ve raised more than £3,500 for charity by sending this waste to TerraCycle. We donate the funds to Medic to Medic who use the donations to fund tuition fees for medical and paramedical students in Malawi, Uganda and Zambia, as well as providing the necessary technologies, textbooks, help with transport and logistics, and more. Without the help from Medic to Medic, many students would have to give up or temporarily suspend their studies to do very low-paid work to earn some money towards their tuition fees.”

The collected items are sent to TerraCycle and are recycled by shredding, cleaning, and turning into plastic pellets which can then be used by manufacturers to create new generic plastic products, such as outdoor equipment – reducing the need to extract new resources from the planet.

Naomi said: “We encourage everyone in the area to get involved and sort, save and bring the items we can recycle to our drop-off location. It’s a great way to reduce the amount of waste you send to landfill, and it also helps raise funds for a great cause.”

The group has signed up to programmes including the pladis Biscuits and Snacks Free Recycling Programme (which recycles non-savoury biscuit, cracker and snack cake wrappers) and the Pringles Tube and Cathedral City Cheese Packaging Free Recycling Programmes. You can find a full list of what the group can accept on their Facebook page. They can also be found on Nextdoor.

For more information about TerraCycle, or to get involved and help Salisbury Recycles For Medic To Medic with their recycling efforts, head here.