Podium place for local fire station in national recycling competition

Chatteris Fire Station receiving a hamper after collecting more than a tonne of recycled clothes for charity.
Chatteris Fire Station receiving a hamper after collecting more than a tonne of recycled clothes for charity.

A charitable Cambridgeshire fire station has been awarded third place in a national recycling competition.

Chatteris Fire Station successfully took bronze position after collecting 1.25 tonnes of recycled clothing and textiles in just one month (January) as part of the national competition in aid of The Fire Fighters Charity.

Charity bosses visited the on-call station on Thursday (Feb 28) to award the crews with a hamper, which they have decided to donate as a raffle prize at their upcoming car wash in aid of the charity.

More than 450 fire stations in the UK took part in the competition, which ran throughout January, and crews in Cambridgeshire rallied local communities to donate clothing and textiles into the yellow recycling banks at stations. East Cambridgeshire’s Ely Fire Station also did the county proud when it came sixth.

Graham Stagg, Chief Fire Officer at CFRS, said: “These successes at our Cambridgeshire fire stations are testament to the generous people in the local communities who have endlessly supported our stations and crews in their work and charity efforts.

“Recycling unwanted clothing at The Fire Fighters Charity’s textile banks is a great way to support injured fire fighters. Over the last year, the scheme has raised over £250,000 for the charity, which has enabled hundreds of firefighters take part in rehabilitation programmes.”

Chatteris was only narrowly pipped at the post, with Bedford Fire Station collecting 1.36 tonnes, and Northamptonshire’s Oundle Fire Station recycling 1.46 tonnes of materials.

Fire stations across the county also took part in the competition with textile banks placed at Ely, St Neots, Cambourne, Sawston, St Ives, Manea, Huntingdon, March, Kimbolton, Linton, Cottenham, Dogsthorpe, Littleport, Whittlesey, Soham, Ramsey, Burwell, Wisbech, Cambridge, Stanground, and Peterborough.

The Fire Fighters Charity’s national recycling scheme sends wearable items to developing countries to help those who are experiencing situations resulting in extreme poverty. Un-wearable items are recycled into other day-to-day products such as car insulation and furniture padding. For every tonne raised The Fire Fighters Charity receives £220.

John Parry, Chief Executive of The Fire Fighters Charity, explained: “There was a fun but competitive edge to our national recycling scheme and we were amazed by the efforts of the 450 fire stations that took part.

“In total we collected over 98 tonnes of clothing during January 2013, compared to just 80 tonnes in the same month last year. Thanks to the fantastic donations of unwanted clothing, including a few dodgy Christmas socks and jumpers no doubt, we raised over £22,000. Add to this another £6,000 from other clothes collections such as door to door and school collections, which will go directly towards helping members of the fire service community.”

Chatteris and Ely Fire Stations will also be bolstering their charitable successes with charity car washes for The Fire Fighters Charity at their respective stations on Saturday, March 16, from 10am.