A YORK woman has raised more than £16,000 through a recycling initiative to support a trust who helped her son in his younger years.

Karen Nash has been fundraising for The Snappy Trust for around 10 years.

From an early age, her eldest son was offered support through the trust – a city centre initiative dedicated to maximising the personal development of young people with disabilities.

To help raise funds for the charity, Karen founded her own initiative, Foil for Snappy - and with no dedicated service to recycle aluminium foil offered to households in York, Karen set to work creating her own.

By positioning dedicated collection bins in public car parks and accepting donations from local residents, Karen turned her garden into a small-scale waste handling facility, using it to separate and grade thousands of used packaging items, including cans and household cables.

York Press: Some of the recycled materials Karen has collectedSome of the recycled materials Karen has collected (Image: UGC)

As awareness grew, so did the volumes, with volunteers eventually sought to help Karen. Since collecting her very first item, Karen has sorted and sold almost 29 tonnes of recyclable material, raising tens of thousands of pounds for the charity.

Karen said: “When I founded Foil For Snappy, I thought that it could be a clever way to raise money for charity, while also improving local recycling rates. Little did I know that this one small decision would see me embark on a 10-year community campaign."

In 2019, she was awarded the Every Can Counts Green Can Award - and was also presented with the ‘Best Community Recycling Initiative’ at the 2019 Awards for Excellence in Recycling and Waste Management.

With the council having recently introduced aluminium foil to its kerbside collection service, Karen is now stepping down from her fundraising activities, having diverted the equivalent of 20 million mince pie cases, 687,000 beverage cans, 26,000 baked bean tins and 145,000 USB charging cables from landfill.

Karen added: "It’s been hugely rewarding and I’m delighted to have been able to raise so much for such a worthwhile cause. However, now that the council has introduced foil into its kerbside collections, I can take a much-needed step back knowing that the city’s used aluminium packaging is in safe hands.

“I’d like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all the residents who have donated their packaging over the past ten years."

York Press: Karen has sorted and sold almost 29 tonnes of recyclable materialKaren has sorted and sold almost 29 tonnes of recyclable material (Image: UGC)

A spokesperson for The Snappy Trust said the team will always be grateful for the work she has done - and will continue be more aware of our environment and the importance of recycling.

The spokesperson said: "Karen has been working on the Foil for Snappy project for 10 years.

"She is amazing and not only collected the foil and raised so much money in that time, but she has raised an enormous amount of awareness in the talks she gives to groups and schools."