She has set up a publicly accessible drop-off point at her home on Bond Street, allowing the whole community to send “unrecyclable” packaging and products for recycling.
For each shipment of material she sends to waste firm TerraCycle, Karen receives a monetary reward which she donates to the RSPCA.
And the more people that drop off their waste, the more money she can raise.
She has saved thousands of hard-to-recycle items from incineration and landfills so far and is raising money for the charity’s Doncaster, Rotherham & District Branch.
The community is encouraged to recycle their biscuit and snack wrappers, cheese packaging and Hasbro toys at Karen’s public drop-off location
She has signed up to several of TerraCycle’s free recycling programmes including the Pladis (the company behind McVitie’s and Jacob’s) Biscuits and Snacks Recycling Programme, the Cathedral City Cheese Recycling Programme, the Baylis and Harding Recycling Programme and the Hasbro Toy and Games Recycling Programme.
Biscuit and snack wrappers, cheese packaging and Baylis and Harding pumps and tubes as well as Hasbro toys, are among the items the local community can take to Karen’s public drop-off location which is accessible 24/7 and located at 27 Bond Street.
The products she collects and recycles are not recycled through council kerbside recycling collections so would otherwise be destined for landfills or incineration.
Karen said: “I signed up to TerraCycle’s free recycling programmes as I wanted to find a way to recycle more, and what the council collects has its limitations. That’s the gap that TerraCycle fills, and anyone can sign up as a public or private collector, or make use of the drop-off locations in their area for free.”
The items Karen collects are sent to TerraCycle to be recycled through shredding, cleaning and turning them into plastic pellets that can then be used by manufacturers to create new generic plastic products, such as outdoor equipment – reducing the need to extract new resources from the planet.
Karen added: “With the help of the community I have collected 19,000 hard-to-recycle items so far, but we can collect more. I’d encourage everyone in the area to check if something they’re about to throw away is something that can be left at the drop-off location. Information can be found on my Facebook page: ‘Karen's Terracycling’. It’s not only a great thing to do for the planet but also for the vital work of the RSPCA.”