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Council and students aim for BIG impact on recycling

Lakes College students Jason Brockbanks, Dalatia Sutcliffe and Alanah Fell-Johnson with tutor Jenna Grears, artist Sue Jackson and Copeland’s Community Services Manager, Janice Carrol and the elephant sculpture

BIRTHDAY celebrations for Copeland’s kerbside recycling service continued this week with the arrival of a very large guest!

The impressive elephant sculpture, made from recycled materials by local artist Susan Jackson and students from Lakes College, was at the Beacon Museum for the bank holiday. The 1.4m-tall piece is filled with used cans and plastic bottles and highlights the fact that since the council launched a revamped recycling collection a year ago, it has collected materials equalling the weight of 650 elephants.

It will now visit events over the summer to promote the service and draw attention to issues around reducing, reusing and recycling.

Copeland’s recycling crews collected 3,354 tonnes of materials during the first year of the revamped kerbside scheme – 53 per cent more than the previous year.

Mayor Mike Starkie joining in recycling craft sessions at the Beacon Museum

Copeland Mayor, Mike Starkie, said: “I think the elephant is a great piece of art, and it will really help us highlight why we all need to keep recycling. This first year has been a great effort from both residents and staff – Copeland’s recyclers should be proud of themselves for collecting the weight of 650 elephants. We hope to keep up the momentum and reach even more people with the recycling message over the coming weeks.”

Artist Susan Jackson created the elephant sculpture, assisted by Lakes College art,  graphics and photography students. She said: “The biggest challenge was the size of the elephant –  it is a much larger scale than anything I have made previously. It was completed in under three weeks thanks to the help of the college staff and students. I completed my HND in fine art at the college, and it was great to be back.”

Elephant sculpture

Lakes College art tutor, Shona Jones, added: “All the students were able to see a professional artist in residence, and it has been a great opportunity for them to contribute and to discuss the project with Sue.”

The Beacon’s free drop-in craft workshops continue to run in the Beacon Portal every weekend in May, plus the half term holiday. Visitors wanting to take part should bring a clean plastic milk bottle (any size) which they will transform into a cute elephant. Those who want to leave their creations behind can have them entered into a competition to win a special prize. The events are suitable for all ages.

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