Turning Trash Into Treasure

Posted in Environment, Our Community.

Here's something we've not mentioned before on the blog: our recycling pirate, Captain Rummage.

Blog Cone Exchange Chris
Captain Rummage at Buckingham Palace
No, we're not making it up. Here at Taylors we really do have a recycling pirate. And he really is called Captain Rummage. (Although his friends know him as Chris to be fair.)

In fact, he's now our 'award-winning' recycling pirate. Thanks to him, Taylors scooped gold at the prestigious Food and Drink Federation Community Partnership Awards in the Environment Category.

Oh yes, and he also received an MBE last year. He had to go down to Buckingham Palace so that Prince Charles could present him with.

But at the heart of it all is our community recycling project, the Cone Exchange, where Chris works with various different social groups in our local area to 'turn trash into treasure'.

It started over a decade ago, when Chris was giving a group of adults with special needs a tour of our factory. One visitor spotted a pile of cardboard cones in our waste bins - leftovers from the big rolls of string we use for tagged teabags. They asked to take some away to make 'Christmas angels' out of.

Blog Cone Exchange Cones
The cones that started it all...
This started a trend and before you knew it, loads of people were making decorations out of our old cones, then selling them with the help of neighbourhood shops.

The whole thing was a big hit - it cut down on our rubbish, raised money for charity and brought the whole community a bit closer together. Unsurprisingly, Chris was hooked.

He started finding more and more ways to recycle things we once threw away - from reusing waste that as craft materials to collecting old phones and ink cartridges for charities like Oxfam - making contact with more and more local people and groups who wanted to be involved along the way.

Soon he needed a base to store all the stuff he was collecting and trading, and the Cone Exchange was born - our tribute to the Corn Exchanges of olden times.

Chris also began visiting local schools to encourage them to help and he took to dressing up as the pirate Captain Rummage to capture their imagination… or possibly just so he could wear fancy dress.

But why a pirate?

Well, it could be about the hunt for treasure amongst the trash. Or maybe it's to do with his 'reduce, reuse and recycle' mantra - otherwise known as the three 'arrrs'!

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