|Meet Mark – he’s a bit of a card
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Mark O’Brien has made them all. He’s a professional cardboard craftsman and makes realistic props and display pieces for shops and films.
Most people will just throw away their old card and packaging, but not our Mark. The Golborne businessman has exhibited internationally and he’s keen for locals to do their bit with cardboard too.
“The amount of cardboard we all get in packaging seems to be increasing all the time,” says Mark. “I use all mine making displays because it’s my job – but residents can do their bit by recycling it in their blue bins.”
Mark is supporting the council’s roll out of new recycling facilities. It’s only a few years since the first roadside scheme started – a paper sack – but now there are a range of services. Today, well over 50 per cent of residents’ waste can be re-used. With the tax cost of landfill rubbish rising to £80 a tonne within 18 months, better recycling saves local council tax payers hundreds of thousands of pounds each year.
Mark’s just back from Hong Kong where his creations took centre stage at a major exhibition – and he does his bit locally in school art clubs. “Remember when you’ve done with your cardboard, it still has a use.” he adds. “I have more than enough, so please put yours into your blue bin – NOT your green bin - so it can be recycled into fresh materials.”
The blue wheelie bin is now the home for old cardboard. The blue bin is also the right place for paper, magazines, tetrapak cartons, envelopes and loo roll inner tubes.
Residents’ services are being boosted this summer as food caddies are delivered boroughwide. This means that the amount of non-recyclable waste should be reduced still further and so, from 3 September, residents’ black bins will be emptied every two weeks.
Cllr Kevin Anderson, cabinet champion for the environment, says: “We appreciate that the changes will take a little getting used to but it should actually make things easier in the long term by minimising the number of bins you have to put out each week.”
Calendars with full details are being distributed to every home and there’s a handy online facility to check your own house’s timetable. Go to www.wigan.gov.uk/recycling to see details for most addresses.
Mark’s already given his address to the bin collectors – his blue bin is likely to be a little lighter than most!
Go to www.mark-obrien.co.uk to see more of his cardboard craftsmanship – from cars to chickens and even whole rooms.