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Everyone hates a door-to-door salesman, and everyone hates a busybody; it surprised me then that Birmingham City Council decided to combine the two into one voluntary job and entitle the position a ‘recycling champion’. Champion seems to imply some kind of victory – are these people the crack team of recycling, with houses built out of paper mache and cars fuelled off apple cores?

However, the job isn’t really the sticking point for me, it’s more the fact this environmental A-Team appear to be operating as some kind of recycling KGB. There is literally nothing I can find regarding these mysterious champions, no launch, no introduction to them, no pictures, no form of contact. Just the tiny bit of blurb on the website on how to volunteer. Do these people have uniforms? I’ve searched members of the councils blogs, such as Sandra Curley (one of BCC’s Waste Minimisation Managers), but all seem to be appealing for champions rather than mentioning any exisiting team. The last post on Sandra Curley’s blog appeals for more champions, and is from just one month ago.

Of course, there has to be an existing team because this article appears to sing the praises of the champions, rather bizarrely crediting them with all the paper in the city going to a local recycling plant, thus creating local jobs.  Maybe it’s the writer of the article themselves, but the quotation from BCC Environmental Operations Manager Jeremy Shields doesn’t seem to claim any success, instead appearing to be a plea for champions and what they will do. If there isn’t enough champions already, then how are they managing to change entire recycling operations AND regenerate the local economy by providing new jobs?

Perhaps even weirder, the Recycling Champions idea was launched last year, referenced here in the Birmingham Mail Lighter Footprints blog. I know that more is apparently merrier, but seriously? There has been no reported success since May last year? The Council are still appealing for more champions?

With this in mind, I’m donning my khaki’s and launching a full-on trophy hunt. The trophy? A recycling champion. I’m appealing to every resident of Birmingham; BRING ME A RECYCLING CHAMPION! The first person to find a champion and get a picture, a name and contact details will win an alcoholic drink of their choosing and the pride of having found the unfindable. The only rule is you aren’t allowed to volunteer yourself, because that’s just cheating and I’ll pretend it didn’t happen.

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One Comment

  1. Such a majestic title but no kudos…
    I think once they sign-up they get locked in someone’s basement for non-recycling-based activities


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