Island resident Clara Isaac is determined to make recycling an option for all. Her company, recyclecollect.im has steadily grown over the past nine months and now 600 households are using the subscription-based kerbside collection across the island.
Why is recycling so important for the island?
Waste management accounted for 3% of the island’s net emissions in 2019. We can reduce the Island’s carbon emissions by paying more attention to reducing, reusing, and recycling our everyday items.
Recycling is a whole community approach to lowering carbon emissions. Recycling lessens the need for raw materials to make new products, reducing energy consumption. It also limits the amount of waste heading to the incinerator, resulting in fewer greenhouse emissions.
The island has several initiatives, including four civic amenity sites, over sixty “bring banks”, and kerbside collection for recyclables in Douglas and Braddan areas. Clara’s company has stepped in to make recycling even more accessible by offering kerbside collection throughout the island.
Making recycling accessible to all
As a Douglas resident, Clara used the kerbside collection service. But when she moved to Santon, she realised recycling wasn’t so easy.
Working full time and getting to the amenity centres was tricky. It wasn’t easy to go before or after work, and Clara didn’t want to spend her weekend driving to and from the recycling bins.
Clara and her husband looked online for a kerbside collection but found nothing available. So, always up for a challenge, they decided to set up their own system, putting their knowledge of technology to good use. It proved more popular than they imagined.
Clara explains, “I drew up a business plan, estimating a hundred houses. We now collect from up to six hundred houses, and the numbers are growing. Recycling is a much bigger movement than we appreciated.”
Traditional recycling at amenity sites and “bring banks” isn’t suitable for all residents. Some people don’t drive and can’t access the recycling facilities easily. Clara’s kerbside collection makes recycling an option for all, including the elderly and the disabled.
How does recyclecollect.im’s kerbside collection work?
The great thing about Clara’s company is the ease of recycling. Registration is an online, monthly subscription. Once you sign up, you’re given two boxes for different recyclables:
- Grey – plastics, foil trays, tin cans, and aerosols
- Green – glass bottles and jars, paper and cardboard
- Orange – cartons and Tetra Pak
If you need more boxes, you simply request them online.
Your boxes are collected once a fortnight, and you can access the collection days online with a WhatsApp page for any questions.
Clara is also keen on education. “If somebody places the wrong item in a box, we don’t take it, but we leave a note explaining why it isn’t recyclable.”
It hasn’t been plain sailing for the initiative. Getting information out to the public about the service has been tricky. Advertising is expensive, and Clara wishes to keep costs down to make the service cost-efficient for those who use it. More people sharing the word about the kerbside collection will help bring others on-board.
Positive support has come from Santon Commissioners, who offer a subsidy for all Santon residents who use the service. Clara hopes other parishes will take the opportunity to do the same.
What does the future look like for recyclecollect.im?
The future looks bright for Clara’s company. With an ever-expanding customer base, Clara wants to buy more vans and employ more people. The hope is to eventually move from hybrid vans to fully electric vehicles, continuing to lower the business’ carbon emissions, and further support the Island in its aim to reach net zero by 2050.
Education is also a focus, making more households aware of the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling.
If you’d like to know more about Clara’s service, you can visit recyclecollect.im