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Town centre recycling scheme will fund defibrillators

A recycling scheme to fund lifesaving equipment in Bury St Edmunds town centre is being trialled with the support of local businesses.  Ink and toner cartridges will be collected in special bins, raising funds to purchase and maintain 24-hour public access defibrillators.  Recently the cost of replacing four batteries at local defibrillators – over £740 in total – was funded entirely from cartridge recycling.

The initiative is thanks to a campaigning local businessman and the Business Improvement District (BID) organisation Our Bury St Edmunds in partnership with The Apex and arc Shopping Centre.   Paul Hicklin, from Bury St Edmunds, has provided the collection bins through his Mildenhall-based business Compleat Office Solutions.  Paul said: “I’ve been committed to increasing the number of defibrillators available for public use in memory of my father and this is a great opportunity to reduce waste, raise funds and ultimately save lives.”

Mike Kirkham from Our Bury St Edmunds has worked closely with Paul to install defibrillators in the town and welcomed the new fundraising and recycling opportunity.  He commented:  “The BID offers free first aid training to its business members and these include how to use a defibrillator so the more that can provided around the town the better, to ensure they are within easy reach in an emergency.  Any business that hasn’t taken advantage of this training yet is welcome to get in touch as one day someone’s life could depend on it.”

The recycling bins can take ink and toner cartridges from printers and photocopiers. It’s hoped that after a trial period more businesses will join the scheme either with public access bins or as part of an in-house recycling and fundraising campaign. Access to the recycling bins at the Apex is during the venue’s usual opening hours.  

Defibrillators can be used by anyone, with or without first aid training.  They are fully automated and guide the user through every step of administering defibrillation on a casualty.  With 20% of out of hospital cardiac arrests happening in public places then the availability of a defibrillator and ability to perform CPR is critical. A defibrillator used alongside quality CPR means the odds of survival jump from 6% to 75%.

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