Highlands & Islands

The Inverness grandmother making art from household waste

Image caption Edna wants to encourage people to reuse rubbish as well as recycle it

Edna Clyne-Rekhy is a grandmother and artist who wants to help save the planet.

Almost every week the 79-year-old can be found giving demonstrations of what new uses household rubbish can be put to.

The invitations come from clubs, youth groups and schools in and around Inverness, where she lives.

"Young people do recycle waste, but things don't always have to go into a recycle bin. They can be used to make other things," she says.

"That's the message I want to get out there. I want to try to help save the planet's resources."

About 140,000 tonnes of waste is produced every year by households and businesses in the Highlands, according to the region's local authority.

Image copyright Edna Clyne
Image caption One of Edna's ring pull creations

Nearly 43% of the material is recycled and the rest sent to landfill sites at an annual cost of £11m to Highland Council.

Edna, a former Brownies and Guides arts commissioner, has found a new purpose for almost all her rubbish.

She turns plastic milk bottles into bird feeders, plant pots and storage containers for knick-knacks .

Empty food tins are transformed into pencil holders, ring pulls from drink cans are made into jewellery and she has folded the pages of an old telephone directory to make a table decoration.

"I was born in 1940 and grew up during the war. My mum taught me to waste nothing and during the war you couldn't. Everything had to be saved and reused," says Edna, who grew up in Longside in Aberdeenshire.

Image copyright Edna Clyne-Rekhy
Image caption Edna's father Alexander Clyne was an artist and craftsman

Her parents Edna and Alexander Clyne were both creative.

During rationing in World War Two, and for a time after the end of the war, Edna's mother found ways to make essentials last.

She says: "You didn't get new clothes. You got hand-me-downs or clothes my mum made from cutting adult clothing.

"We don't repair things any more. People just buy a new one when something gets broken."

Edna's father, an artist, craftsman and musician, encouraged her interest in art.

Image copyright Edna Clyne-Rekhy
Image caption Edna's painting of her rescued dog Zanussi

Alexander designed and built the wooden mould for a horse and rider that is a feature of the frontage of art deco flats that are a landmark in Inverness' Old Edinburgh Road.

He also led the construction of a massive castle backdrop for 1951's Pageant of Inverness, a celebration of 1,400 years of the city's history.

Edna's own art includes paintings of animals. One is of Zanussi, a dog she found following an earthquake. He was cowering inside the washing machine of her home in Spain where she and her late husband Jack ran an olive farm for 12 years.

Edna, who turns 80 next year, says she always receives positive feedback about her recycling demonstrations.

She has a thank you letter from Inverness Tangent Club following a recent talk.

It is written on the blank side of a piece of junk mail.