Ashby's Big Red Bin finds a home in Co-op car park

By Graham Hill

7th Jul 2021 | Local News

  • The Big Red Bin can be found in the Co-op car park in Derby Road, Ashby
  • You can bring your aluminium cans along and scrunch them yourself as they prepare to be recycled
  • The Big Red Bins are located in towns across the East Midlands and Ashby is the latest addition

A new Helipads for Hospitals Big Red Bin has been installed at the Ashby Co-op in Derby Road.

The distinctive Bin will be used for the collection of used aluminium cans and is situated in the Co-op car park.

It was installed last week and officially launched over the weekend with the help of Helipads for Hospitals founder John Nowell.

And if you are wondering how it works, John kindly demonstrated the bin for Ashby Nub News in the above video.

He was joined at the launch by Love Ashby Litter Picking Heroes organiser Jo Warburton, her daughter Matilda, Ashby Co-op store manager Richard Walton and Ashby Co-op Member Pioneer Zoe Richardson.

John, who flew helicopters for the RAF and who helped train Air Ambulance pilots, explained the story behind the Big Red Bins which are located in a number of towns across the East Midlands.

He wants to increase the number of helipads around the UK in order to improve the medical outcomes of patients flown to hospitals.

John said: "The co-op have put up £200, and we're also putting a book on sale 'A Day Above Leicestershire', which is the day in the life of an air ambulance pilot, it's photographic book and we are selling those to fund the balance of £400.

"It's aimed at Father's Day. And they're going well.

'You can come down and pick one up. The books are going for £15 - £10 goes towards the bin, and £5 to the co-op sponsored charity Mind.

"Everybody benefits from this. The bin is very distinctive and helps towards providing helipads across the UK.

"It's for all the air ambulances, and the military and the Coastguard."

John also praised the work of litter pickers which has become more popular over the past year.

He added: "The local litter pickers deserve a medal.

"They go out in groups, park up and do a stretch of road with bags and a litter grabber.

"You can see the number of people going out and doing this, and coming back feeling mentally refreshed.

"They've actually done something to make a difference, that's what we went to see."

He encouraged the public to use the Big Red Bin - no matter how small the contribution.

John added: "Even if you only have one aluminium can, it helps.

"It's a little mini-circular economy that's working to everyone's advantage. Use the cans, and then recycle them and buy more.

"But people want to get on board with recycling now to reduce the amount of plastic bottles, and the Co-op have been really supportive, this is the third one of theirs.

"There is one in Barrow on Soar and Enderby. After this one, we're going to have one Birstall, then Uppingham, spreading across the county.

"This particular one in Ashby, it cost £600 and it will last forever. The materials used are baked in an oven, they're stronger than your car. The cans are collected in a special bag inside the bin.

"You can bring any kind of aluminium can down here and people can squash them, what we don't want to do is transport 98 per cent air, they need to be flattened. The kids love doing that. I've told children that they are the future and need to understand the importance of doing all of this recycling."

Richard said: "As far as the Co-op's link to this is concerned, it's all about community

"We look at what we can do within the community, our stores are encouraged to donate to the local community where it can benefit them.

"Myself, Zoe and John got together and brainstormed ideas. And we saw this as a massive opportunity. I was in touch with Jo at Ashby Litterpickers, we looked at what she does within the community and how we could link it together, it made total sense that we could kill two birds with one stone and introduce this bin and see where it takes us.

"We jumped on board with John who was raising funds and we made the donation. We'll continue to support the community is that the Co-op are in."

John added: "The beauty of the whole thing is it everybody wins, the council because they don't have to go litter picking, the Co-op wins because people who buy their cans inside, go home and drink them, then come back with the kids, crush them and go and buy some more, the NHS and the air ambulance will benefit.

"Eventually, the whole of the UK will be covered by a helicopter which can take you to a hospital if needed, the first one was installed about 18 months ago before lockdown."

Richard added: "The book that we are selling is fantastic and features an aerial shot of Ashby Castle."

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