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IT'S IN THE CAN! RECYCLING: Gordon the Can Man is doing his bit for charity and saving the planet Telegraph GO GREEN.

Byline: By Michael Corley

A CANNY Warwickshire fundraiser has collected more than 32,000 drink tins in six months to help save the planet.

Gordon Blackaby's can-do attitude has seen him save more than half-atonne of aluminium, helping him generate cash for charities in the process.

The 79-year-old grandad, who is known to friends and neighbours as Gordon the Can Man, is a real recycling champion.

The retired heating engineer, who lives in St Margaret's Road, Leamington, spends about five hours every day collecting cans as he walks around his neighbourhood.

He then swaps them for money with Coventry-based recycling company Billy Can Recycling, Waveley Road, Spon End.

Over the past six years he's handed-in five tonnes of aluminium empties - more than 325,000 cans - and raised more than pounds 2,200 for good causes in the process.

Friends and neighbours also donate cans by dropping them off at his house. Each kilogramme - about 65 cans - is worth 40p, so the cash soon mounts up.

The money he's raised has helped a number of good causes including The Dogs Trust and International Fund for Animal Welfare.

Speaking about his uncanny achievement Mr Blackaby said: "I first started collecting tins to raise money for dog charities.

"This was after we were forced to give away our two Alsatians, because we both got arthritis and couldn't look after them any more.

"I collect the cans, crush them and bag them, while the wife, Edna, does all the paper work.

"It is something we've done for years, and apart from the cash I raise for good causes it's good to know that I am also helping the environment - it's such a waste to throw these cans away when you can earn money by recycling them."

Robbie Davies, the world's leading recycler of aluminium cans, which works with Billy Can Recycling, said: "Gordon's efforts prove that recycling aluminium drink cans makes sound financial sense.

"It adds up to a great way to raise funds without having to ask for donations."


Metal cans are completely recyclable. They can be melted down and used over and over again to make new cans or longer-lived products such as bikes, cars and aeroplanes.

Over five billion aluminium drink cans are sold in the UK every year, and if exchanged for cash, they would raise over pounds 30 million for individuals, charities and good causes.

It can take as little as 60 days for a used can to be recycled, remade, and resold.

Recycling cans saves energy because melting them down takes much less heat than manufacturing new metal. For steel you need only about a quarter of the energy, and for aluminium only about a twentieth.

Recycling metal cans saves also saves metal resources mined from the ground and reduces landfill.

There are 40 cash for cans centres across the UK.

For details on how to collect cans for charities and help the environment, call the National Information Line on 0845 722 7722 or visit


CAN DO... Edna and Gordon Blackaby with some of the cans they collected for recycling and charity. Picture: Michelle Sperry MS150708CANS1
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 21, 2008
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