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Utter Rubbish

1840. Elliott Lancaster

Elliott Lancaster, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, is a student who created an app, ‘Utter Rubbish’, to help empower people to become more sustainable in their daily lives by easily sharing information on recycling and how to manage household waste in their local area.

Elliott Lancaster

Having carried out over 1,000 hours of volunteering among his community whilst studying at school and University, Elliott is passionate about working with local authorities, charities and change-makers to address key social issues such as improving mental health, reducing homelessness and increasing environmental awareness. Through these connections, he realised the potential for making it more accessible for people to understand how they can manage household waste and and become more environmentally aware. Partnering with local government bodies at Staffordshire Moorlands and Newcastle-under-Lyme, alongside residents, Elliott developed his mobile app, ‘Utter Rubbish’, to enable people to report fly-tipping, check on bin collections, and find out more about recycling policies in their area. As a result of Elliott’s work, in November 2021, Elliott was a finalist for the inaugural Global Student Prize, finishing in the final 10, and has been approached by local authorities in other countries seeking assistance with the rollout of the app.

In a personal letter to Elliott, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“Thank you for your innovative efforts to keep our country tidy and make your community an even better place to live.

“Your ‘Utter Rubbish’ app is a fantastic idea which allows local people to take more control over their environment and feel pride in the place they live in. I am delighted that after 1,000 hours of volunteering your app is rolling out across the country and globally too.”

Aaron Bell, Elliott’s local MP for Newcastle-under-Lyme, said:

“I am delighted that Elliott has received this recognition for his volunteering, as well as his inspirational personal story. He is such a brilliant representation of perseverance and a true star of Newcastle-under-Lyme.”

Elliott said:

“It is humbling and exciting to have been recognised to receive this prestigious award. I hope my journey inspires others – demonstrating the impact we can all make on our communities.”

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The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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