A green wedding? Hackney Council recycling team makes couple’s big day with ‘emotional’ surprise gift
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hackney Council’s recycling team wasn’t invited to Catherine and Thomas Rogerson Yarrow’s wedding – but that didn’t stop it sending a gift that left Thomas “quite emotional”.
During a game of “Mr and Mrs” at Catherine and Thomas’s joint stag and hen party, Thomas was asked what the most frustrating thing was about Catherine.
“I started off by saying I didn’t think there was anything,” said Thomas, “but then I realised there’s one thing: that sometimes she doesn’t respect the system of waste management.”
The couple has a three-bin system at home, which Catherine said she never fully understood.
Troubled by Thomas’s answer, Catherine decided to contact Hackney Council to help her fix her bad habit. To her surprise, Hackney’s area environmental manager Glen Witby not only replied but actually sent his team to stage an intervention and teach her about the different boxes.
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“They came to my house in uniform and even gave me my own uniform,” Catherine told the Gazette. “They were just absolutely brilliant.”
The team took her on a morning shift around the neighbourhood and let her experience a day in their lives. At the end of her shift, she was presented with a “Most Improved Recycler in Hackney” award.
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Catherine said she learned a lot – for example, how to separate rubbish on site – and was pleasantly surprised at how helpful the team was to her learning experience.
“I understand now how much work goes into what they do and appreciate what they do,” she said. “They told me that if you put something in the wrong bin, that whole bag can’t be used for recycling any more.
“It took the whole Hackney Council to get me to become more aware of recycling.”
On the day of their wedding, Catherine surprised Thomas with a picturebook documenting her adventure, and a self-made t-shirt that read: “My wife is the most improved recycler in Hackney, mate.”
“It was a great gift,” said Thomas. “The answer to the Mr and Mrs question has evaporated. I became really emotional when I went through the picture book.”