Can-Do Community Recycling was born out of a genuine desire, by a group of people with disabilities, to develop a conservation project through a recycling initiative. In 1989, advice was sought on what would be the most suitable material to recycle. At a subsequent meeting with an Environmental Health Officer based in Fraserburgh, it was suggested that the group should seriously consider the benefits of used beverage container (U.B.C) recycling.
The group agreed that U.B.C recycling would make a valuable contribution to energy conservation. They decided to call the project Can-Do, a play on words to highlight people’s abilities rather than their disabilities. The enthusiasm of the group was infectious and it was quickly recognised by social work staff, based at the Robertson Road Resource Centre, that the project could also be used to develop vocational and employment training.In 1990, the resource centre was able to provide a base from which to launch the project. A small van and workshop were made available with which to collect and process the U.B.C.
A number of local businesses in the Fraserburgh area agreed to donate their U.B.C, The Aluminium Can Recycling Association (ACRA) agreed to provide promotional material and collection sacks which were left with project sponsors. Project members called at the sponsors premises once a week using the van to transport the U.B.C back to the resource centre where it was stored, sorted into steel and aluminium U.B.C and then crushed.
In the early months of the project the U.B.C was sorted by hand with a magnet and crushed using a home made device. Can-Do was proving to be a real success, the amount of U.B.C collected steadily increased as did the number of sponsors. Project members designed and built a can sorter with a large magnet that enabled them to sort a whole bag of U.B.C in one go. New purpose built hand crushing machines were also purchased which allowed the U.B.C to be crushed more efficiently.
At the beginning of 1991 Can-Do had collected 1.5 tonnes of aluminium U.B.C and 1.25 tonnes of steel U.B.C this was equivalent to approximately 151,000 drinks cans. An employment officer helped to support project members in acquiring new skills and in developing links with local employers and Banff and Buchan College of Further Education. Many of the project workers started to attend the college for a half day where they received training in Health and Safety at work.In 1995 a larger van and trailer were provided which allowed Can-Do to expand further , collections were arranged from the neighbouring villages of Sandhaven, Rosehearty, Inverallochy, St Combs, Crimond and the town of Peterhead.
The public response to Can-Do was excellent, in fact U.B.C was being collected faster than it could be processed which led to storage problems. ACRA once again provided the answer, and agreed to loan a CC7 can sorter. This enabled large quantities of U.B.C to be deposited in the sorter’s hopper and taken by conveyor to a magnetic roller where the U.B.C was separated into aluminium and steel. The mechanisation of the sorting process and the ability to process more efficiently quickly resolved the storage difficulties. With the aid of dedicated machinery, Can-Do in 1997 collected 6.7 Tonnes of aluminium U.B.C and 6.5 Tonnes of steel U.B.C this was equivalent to approximately 728,000 drinks cans.
In 1998, an application was made to the European Social Fund and was awarded a grant under objective 3. This enabled project members to participate in a program of work experience, vocational training, employment guidance and counselling. Many of the project members went on to achieve their first academic qualification and SQA certification.
In 1999, Can-Do continued to expand with the aquisition of an Alpack 5000 bailer, the mechanisation of the sorting and processing was complete. U.B.C could now be collected, brought to the resource centre for bailing and then delivered to Alcan for recycling. In that year Can-Do processed 13 Tonnes of U.B.C and made 205 collections a week.
Over the last ten years Can-Do has steadily matured into a successful and valued recycling project. Without doubt the Can-Do success is a result of the hard work and commitment of the project members and the generosity of our sponsors…..Thank you.
Our Aims & Objectives
- To promote the benefits of U.B.C recycling.
- To provide a local U.B.C recycling service to the communities of North Aberdeenshire.
- The reduction of social exclusion for people who have disabilities.
- To promote employment and vocational training for people who have disabilities.