Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Shop around to Find the Best Green Solution; Environment Editor Tony Henderson on Muck and Money

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Shop around to Find the Best Green Solution; Environment Editor Tony Henderson on Muck and Money

Article excerpt

IF, AS has been historically asserted, England is a nation of shopkeepers then Michael McGuire is set on turning us into a country of recyclers.

He started his Tyneside recycling business two years ago and specialises in free collections of recyclable material from corner shops.

He now collects from around 400 stores across the North East, taking materials like cardboard, paper, plastics and wooden boxes which would otherwise have been binned and landfilled.

Michael runs North Breeze Recycling UK, based at Willington Quay in North Tyneside.

He says: "I'm passionate about recycling, not least for the futures of my grandchildren and their children. We have a duty to recycle as much as we can."

That is the spirit which a new body, the North East Sustainable Resources Board (NESRB), wants to capture.

The Journal reported the launch of the board this week, which aims to maximise the value extracted from the 10.5m tonnes of waste which flows from the North East annually, and by doing so create business opportunities and hundreds of jobs.

Backed by 20 public and private sector organisations in the region, the target of what is the first organisation of its type outside London, is to call time on the throwaway society as natural resources and oil supplies begin to dwindle.

This step-change in regarding waste as not rubbish but a resource is welcomed by Michael McGuire and others in the business.

He began with himself, his grandson and one vehicle.

Two years later he now has three vehicles and a workforce of seven, and has expanded into the recycling of plastic bumpers and fuel tanks from scrapped cars.

Of his corner shop crusade, he says: "What was happening in places like corner shops was that waste was being binned and landfilled. We go to shops and say 'Why not recycle? …

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