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What a difference the Wombles make!

Before the Wombles

The word is getting out… by recycling aluminium cans you can reduce litter and help Leicester Royal Infirmary get closer to having a much-needed helipad so Air Ambulance helicopters can land on the same site as the accident and emergency department.

More and more people are responding to the appeals by the Rotary Club of Leicester Novus and other Rotary clubs.

Hanging on garage door

Novus member Jim Matthews is getting used to being given cans by members, friends and neighbours and by finding that bags of cans had been left at his home..

The other day he got home and opened his up-and-over electric door without noticing that one of his neighbours had left this bag hanging on the garage door handle.

He watched with concern as it went up and up. He began to hope that he had found a way of crushing the cans — useful because it saves space and therefore petrol when the cans are transported to Stocken Prison where they are crushed into 10,000-can pallets.

Disappointment! The bag of cans got trapped between the door and the top of the door frame. Relief! It did no damage.

One group who have well and truly taken the recycling message to heart are the South Leicestershire Litter Wombles

Today they donated 17 bags of cans picked from roadsides, verges and hedgerows. In fact, they had 20 bags, but Jim could not get the final three into his car.

After the Wombles… theirs are the bags furthest from the hedge

Geoff Walker reckons that since they started separating the cans from the thousands of bin bags of litter the Wombles have collected last autumn, they must have donated 20,000 cans.

Helipads For Hospitals founder John Nowell, who was a helicopter pilot for the RAF and the Air Ambulance, says Geoff’s guess is probably about right.

As he loaded them into his large trailer, he said: “The great thing about the Wombles is that they crush the cans so we can get far more delivered in each journey.”

If you want to know what has so inspired the Rotary Clubs and the Wombles, come to a free meeting being hosted by Novus Rotary at Braunstone Town Civic Centre, Kingsway, from 7.30pm to 9pm on Monday, March 9. Admission is free, but Novus Rotary wants people to book their place by e-mailing so we can make sure everyone is sitting comfortably for John Nowell’s inspiring PowerPoint presentation.

He reckons he will then be able to update people with the approximate number of cans and the weight of the aluminium collected so far.

It has been estimated that a million cans will provide enough aluminium to provide the raw material for a helipad.

John said: “I hope a lot of people will come. This is a real win-win situation with less litter, and greater safety for seriously-ill patients.

Last edited: 18:30 on Thursday, 23.01.2020