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Northampton is 'Up for the Cup' with ambitious recycling project

IMG-20190913-WA0002Clare Topping

Clare Topping, Energy and Sustainability Manager, with one of our existing coffee cup recycling bins

Northampton General Hospital is teaming up with the University of Northampton and five other Northampton organisations, on a mission to up the town’s green credentials as part of a new, national recycling campaign.

The Northampton project called Up for the Cup, will officially start in the autumn and aims to collect and recycle as many disposable cups as possible to reach a target of 160,000.

Northampton General Hospital are proud to be one of the organisations involved in the 12 month  project to encourage staff, visitors and patients to recycle their coffee cups. Building on the hospitals work to increase recycling and switch to more sustainable alternatives, this scheme hopes to ensure that coffee cups are recycled in the right way. To encourage recycling the hospital will host a number of specially selected recycling bins across the site.

Clare Topping, Energy and Sustainability Manager at Northampton General Hospital described how this project will benefit recycling at Northampton General: “We are very happy to be part of the town-wide collaboration to increase recycling and reduce littering of coffee cups.  At Northampton General Hospital we sell over 250,000 cups of coffee through our cafés and restaurant so it is important that we make sure we recycle as many of these as possible through a dedicated recycling system.”

More than 8 million disposable cups are used in Northampton each year with most not being recycled, the campaign also hopes to increase awareness about the need to recycle, with a view to the bins remaining after the project has officially finished.

The official partner organisations are:

  • University of Northampton
  • Northampton General Hospital
  • The Students’ Union
  • The Grosvenor Centre
  • Royal & Derngate theatre
  • Northamptonshire Waste Partnership (a collaboration of all the local authorities)
  • Northampton Train Station (West Midlands Trains)

Up for the Cup is possible thanks to funding from the environmental campaigning and research charity Hubbub. They launched The Cup Fund earlier this year as a means to challenge towns and cities around the UK to come up with creative ways to boost disposable cup recycling.

Northampton is one of 12 towns and cities to successfully bid for funds from Hubbub. The town received £75,000 from Hubbub’s ‘The Cup Fund’ to launch and run the project.

Councillor Tim Allebone, Chairman of the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership added: “The Northamptonshire Waste Partnership is delighted to be involved in the Up for the Cup recycling project in Northampton.  An estimated 8.5 million disposal coffee cups are used in the town every year, the vast majority of which are not currently recycled.

“Through this project we are aiming to recycle 160,000 cups – that’s enough coffee cups stacked end to end for 138 Northampton lift towers – and will be recycled into paper and plastic, ready to be used again to produce new cups.

“We look forward to working alongside our partners to provide bins and collection facilities for those who live, work and study in Northampton to easily recycle their disposable cups.”

Margaret Bates, Professor of Sustainable Wastes Management at the University of Northampton, said: “Britons enjoy around 95 million cups of coffee per day. With a substantial number sipped from takeaway cups in coffee houses up and down the land, the challenge is on to recycle as many as possible.

“Up for the Cup brings together some of the town’s major employers – the University of Northampton, the Royal & Derngate Theatre, the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, local government offices, Northampton General Hospital and even the mainline railway station – to form a coalition tasked with tackling a pressing urban environmental issue.

“Our ambitious project is only possible thanks to the vision and support from Hubbub’s Cup Fund Grant funding. We are all looking forward to working closely with them to make sure our recycling total reaches the cup’s brim.”

Posted on Friday 13th September 2019
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