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Step on it for helipad!

BEFORE: A dozen cans in a pile.

A fortnight after Leicester Novus Rotary heard helicopter pilot John Nowell explain how recycling aluminium cans can help the Air Ambulance save even more lives, the club adopted it is a Rotary project.

John said he and colleagues have launched the appeal Helipads for Hospitals with the aim of asking people to collect cans which are then crushed, smelted into ingots which then provide the raw material for a helicopter-landing pad with space below for parked cars.

John said it will take about one million cans to provide enough material for one helipad. Manufacturing and other costs are likely to be in the region of £350,000, but helipads made of recycled aluminium will not only dramatically reduce costs, but will also reduce waste and the need for newly-mined aluminium.

Ngaire and Robert Hall, of the Rotary Club of Shepshed, have worked with Rotary, Rotaract and Interact to get a big bin in Shepshed. John goes along periodically to collect the cans and take them to the open prison where they are recycled.

Novus member Jim Matthews bought a can-crusher so that John and others will be able to collect more cans at each visit, saving time, and fuel emissions. He asked members to bring cans to each meeting.

The day after the club assembly, Jim’s can crusher arrived in the post and Jim was quick to reduce a pile of cans (containing a lot of air and spece) into a much smaller heap of reusable aluminium.

If you want to help Novus and other Rotary clubs provide a desperately-needed helipad for Leicester Royal Infirmary, please e-mail

AFTER: Same cans, smaller space

Last edited: 22:00 on July 3, 2019