Express & Star

Group learn ways to minimise waste and maximise recycling

SI Cannock & District welcomed Gemma Wall, Staffordshire’s Waste Minimisation Project Support Officer to their meeting in May.

Gemma Wall with club President Carole Holdcroft and SI Cannock's new Bra Bank

Gemma’s role is to liaise with Staffordshire’s Waste Recycling Centres to explore ways of minimising waste and maximising recycling and to spread the word to the residents of the county about the benefits of 'Reducing, Reusing and Recycling' items.

She has set up a number of partnerships with libraries, charities and community organisations who re-purpose unwanted items and give them to people who need them, such as Free IT, Stafford who repair unwanted computers and give them back to the community, or Grace Cares who save unwanted medical equipment from landfill, profits from the sales help to support carers, older people and their families. Local libraries have recycling banks for batteries, ink cartridges and bras.

Gemma has also ensured that there is a charity container at each waste and recycling site where unwanted items can be placed, charity shops and community groups regularly take these items to be reused.

One of the most expensive items to dispose of is unwanted paint. Cannock Waste Recycling Centre will accept any cans of paint that are over a third full. They will be placed in a shed and members of the public will be free to take them home, this initiative is to be rolled out across the county.

At the meeting she brought a Bra Bank for the club where unwanted bras can be deposited and are recycled by the charity Against Breast Cancer, many of the bras are sent to Africa and Eastern Europe. This is a fabulous way for the club to get involved in recycling!

Gemma had so many innovative schemes that will reduce the amount of waste we all produce; visit her Facebook page wastesavvystaffs to find out more.

To find out more about Cannock & District Soroptimists please visit their Facebook page or

By Jackie Prince - Contributor

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