Exeter City Football Club (ECFC) and Exeter City Council’s innovative recycling scheme, Cans4City, has reached a major milestone.
The scheme, which encourages Exeter football fans to recycle used drink cans whilst also raising money for charity, has now raised more than £10,000 with all funds raised going towards projects and initiatives run both by the football club and its partner charity Exeter City Community Trust (ECCT).
Over the years, the Cans4City team has collected more than 12.5 tonnes of aluminium packaging – equivalent to 700,000 cans – which has helped fund donations 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, and much more.
Originally founded in 2005, Cans4City was launched by Exeter City Football Club as a free way for its fans and the community to support and contribute to the club financially, but really picked up momentum after partnering with Exeter City Council in 2019.
Working in conjunction with the council’s waste management department, Cans4City now runs upwards of 20 aluminium recycling points in Exeter and throughout Devon, including many on ECFC’s grounds, and has recruited over 100 volunteers. It also raises money by partnering with community litter picks and beach cleans across Devon and Cornwall.
Last year, the team behind Cans4City were also presented with a national recycling award – a Green Can Award – by not-for-profit Every Can Counts in recognition of their outstanding recycling efforts.
Justin Quick from Exeter City Football Club, said: "As a trust-run club, every pound counts and thanks to Cans4City, every can recycled goes towards funding improvements to the club’s facilities or to supporting local community groups and projects. Our next target is to hit 1 million recycled cans and we’d love everyone to get involved – whether it’s one can or 500 – each really will help to make a difference."
Matt Hulland, Resource Recovery Manager for Exeter City Council, who has helped grow the initiative at the club, said: "Cans4City has gone from strength to strength over the years and it’s fabulous to reach this milestone."
Ruth Williams, Exeter City Council’s Lead Councillor, who has responsibility for recycling and waste management, added: "We’re very proud of the achievements of the club, trust, fans and collectors of cans. Not only does collaboration of this kind create ownership but it also encourages people to recycle rather than throw away a valuable resource we can’t afford to waste."
Chris Latham-Warde, Programme Manager for Every Can Counts, said: "Cans4City is an award-winning example of a start-up project working in partnership with its local council to deliver real benefits to not only the local community, but the environment too. We hope other organisations around the country can get inspired by what Cans4City has achieved since its launch and follow in the footsteps of this great initiative."
Every Can Counts is a unique partnership formed between drink can manufacturers, drink can fillers and the wider recycling industry, all with the goal of reaching a 100% recycling rate for drink cans. The programme provides free recycling support to businesses and organisations around the UK. To find out more information about Every Can Counts and the benefits of recycling drink cans, visit www.everycancounts.co.uk.
You can support Cans4City by dropping off your empty cans at one of the scheme’s recycling collection points, which include the Fan Zone at St James’ Park, as well as at the Old Tiverton Road Co-op, and The Devon Yeoman pub on Beacon Lane. For more information about the scheme, please click here.