Starting a new career in your 50s is never easy, but Spalding man Alan Jesson came up with an idea that has already earned him recognition in business awards.
RECYCLING is something that Alan Jesson knows plenty about, having changed direction after a 30-year police career to a business involved in putting garden waste to good use.
Alan (52), of Balmoral Avenue in Spalding, retired as a detective constable with Lincolnshire Police because of ill health just before he completed his 30 years. He suffers from depression, and as he puts it: “I needed a job that took me away from that kind of environment.”
When people over a certain age leave work, for whatever reason, Alan believes there is a danger they will feel they are “on the scrap heap” but he has demonstrated that doesn’t have to be the case.
“If you think outside the box you don’t have to be on the scrap heap,” he said. “If you are able to, the work is out there. There is a lot of work out there, you just have to find it.
“I suffer with depression but if you keep going with it and you have something to occupy your mind, you don’t have to think you are finished. You can make a success of your life. You can recycle yourself.”
Alan’s eureka momement arrived, appropriately enough, when he was sitting in the queue at the West Marsh Road recycling facility, watching people struggle to lift their bags of garden waste from their car boots to the recycling points.
After carrying out research that demonstrated many people were either unwilling or unable to take their own garden waste to the recycling point, Alan launched his own business – Green2Go, a weekly garden waste collection service.
The collections have only been going for six months but already the business has earned recognition. Green2Go was one of three local firms to reach the final round of the Businesses Accelerator campaign promoted by local newspapers all over the country and backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Dragon’s Den star Deborah Meaden. Local winners will receive free advertising with the Spalding Guardian as well as expert mentoring over the same period.
Green2Go is already helping between 300 and 350 households deal with garden waste and has taken about 300 tonnes of waste to recycling rather than landfill in the last six months. It’s for this reason the scheme has the support of the district council, always looking to reduce its landfill tax bill.
Alan explains that his clients pay £3 for a sturdy, green polypropylene bag that lasts two years and is itself recyclable, although people may choose to buy plastic bags, a less environmentally friendly option. The bag is put out on a pre-arranged day and collected by Alan or one of his team, for £1.40. His clients may also need help with gardening jobs, and Alan offers a range of garden services, including tree surgery, garden maintenance and clearance.
Trucks are filled with collected garden waste and taken to Organic Recycling Ltd at Crowland, where it is turned into compost and sold to nurseries and other growers.
The Green2Go scheme saves waste going to landfill – where it will end up if people choose to buy South Holland District Council’s garden waste bags at £1.50 a time. It saves lots of individual cars making the trip to the recycling centre, rather than one large truck. And it helps people who would otherwise struggle to deal with their waste – or who are unwilling to fill a clean car with garden rubbish.
It is also a personal service, and Alan says: “We are happy to make sure that everyone can use the service by assisting with retrieving bags. I end up hearing about all their medical complaints.”
Visit www.Green2goUK.co.uk or contact Alan on 07584 177072.
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