Recycling queen from West Hampstead only throws away ‘margarine container’ of rubbish in a month

PUBLISHED: 11:58 26 June 2013 | UPDATED: 12:04 26 June 2013

Without the cat litter, Carol Thomas only throws away a margarine container of food waste a week. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Without the cat litter, Carol Thomas only throws away a margarine container of food waste a week. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email

Most people do their token bit for the environment but one West Hampstead woman puts everyone else to shame with her outstanding recycling efforts.

Carol Thomas throws away a kilogram margarine container of rubbish a month. Picture: Nigel Sutton Carol Thomas throws away a kilogram margarine container of rubbish a month. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Carol Thomas, 71, from Brassey Road, only throws out a carrier bag’s worth of rubbish a month and says without the contents of her cat’s litter tray, it would amount to a full margarine container.

Ms Thomas diligently recycles every piece of plastic wrapping around her vegetables, reuses pots that party dips come in for buttons and needles and, when she makes home made ice cream, stores it in margarine tubs.

Ms Thomas said: “If I treat myself to a pizza, I will recycle the cardboard. If I get lunch out and it comes with plastic knives and forks, I will take them home to clean them and then reuse them.

These things are made so well that it would be a shame not to use them. It’s not pretty but it’s practical. I do it because I believe in saving the environment - nothing else.”

Ms Thomas, who moved from Canada to north London in 2004, believes that to get more people recycling, they need to become more aware of how to properly re-use items that would normally be thrown in the bin.

Camden Council is currently on course to achieve its own target of 35 per cent of waste being recycled by 2015, with 31 per cent recycled so far each year. It hopes to recycle 40 per cent of waste by 2020.

Cllr Awale Olad, chair of the culture and environment committee at Camden Council, said: “We encourage all our residents, businesses, and visitors in Camden to recycle everything, to help keep our borough not just green but to reduce the massive carbon footprint that a central London borough is susceptible to.

“We must find ways to increase recycling in a cost-effective way and to be more inclusive.”


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