'Eco Ernie' rounds up Southampton student's rubbish
Southampton, England - Recycling project "Eco Ernie" made its first round collecting trash and discarded items.
The project was named after legendary comedian Benny Hills "Ernie The Fastest Milkman In The West" character's milk float.
Louise Drake, the graduate student who came up with the idea for the project that has been short listed for the 2011 National Recycling Awards.
The project began three years ago after complaints from residents about the mess left by students when they move.
Items collected have included a life-size toy sheep and a pink, inflatable chair.
Each year, about three tonnes of clothes and textiles and a tonne of electrical items are collected. "
"He's environmentally friendly and quirky and everybody wants to have a little drive on the float." Drake said.
Benny Hills song "The Fastest Milkman in the West" reached number one in the UK Singles Chart on 11th December 1971, and stayed there for four weeks.
"Ernie" was originally written in 1955 as the introduction to an screenplay about Hill's milkman experiences, unfortunately it was never filmed.
When his show was canceled in 1989, Benny became a virtual recluse and eventually died alone at his flat in Teddington London, over Easter 1992. Benny was 67 years old when he died.
The timing for the projects launch coincides with a strike by Southampton street cleaners.
" Southampton's street cleaners have said they will extend a strike for a further week in a protest over cuts to pay. "
Around 300 City workers including trash collectors, street cleaning crew's, librarians, toll collectors and parking attendants all started a week long walk out on Tuesday over proposed changes to their contracts.
More than 20 hours of talks between council leaders and public sector unions with the government reconciliation service acas, have broken down to try to end the dispute.