A clever dog who likes to recycle collects hundreds of plastic bottles on his daily walks to help clear the streets of rubbish.
13-year-old border collie Scruff has impressed locals who have dubbed him the ‘eco dog’ for doing his part for the environment in Vaux Nuneaton.
This clever pup loves picking up plastic bottles on walks, and his owners quickly realized they could turn his playful antics into something positive.
David Grant, 48, and his wife Yvonne Faulkner-Grant, 47, began carrying a bag for his collection to take to the recycling center .
Scruff, a 13-year-old border collie, has been hailed by locals as an ‘eco dog’ for doing his part for the environment in Vox Nuneaton
This smart dog loves picking up plastic bottles on walks
About a year ago, David Grant, 48, and his wife Yvonne Faulkner-Grant, 47, noticed their litter retriever was obsessed with plastic bottles, but When he finds the next plastic bottle, he throws it away
Scruff started picking up 40 bottles in its first month in January and has now picked up more than 1,000 bottles in the past year.
About a year ago, David and Yvonne first noticed that their litter hound was obsessed with plastic bottles, but threw them away when he found the next one.
Yvonne said: “It didn’t seem right for him to pick up the bottle and throw it away – we thought people would think we were littering.
“So we had him start bringing us the bottles and we put them in a bag and count them at the end of the walk.”
“Now, he’ll see one on the other side of the road and look at me like, ‘Can I get this?'”
“I think he’s going to collect at least 1,000 this year. We’ve had a great response on Facebook, and Scruff is called an eco-dog.
In December 2009, Yvonne, deputy head of the Aldi warehouse, bought Scruff home for the first time after buying him from a farm in Wales.
As a puppy, Scruff loved picking up sticks, but Yvonne dissuaded him for fear of opening his mouth, and he took to plastic bottles.
Scruff started picking up 40 bottles in the first month of January and has now picked up over 1,000 bottles in the past year
At the end of December, Yvonne and David will lay out all the bottles Scruff has collected to find the total
Yvonne is deputy head of the Aldi warehouse and first bought Scruff home after buying it from a farm in Wales in December 2009
The couple started carrying a bag in which to put his collection before taking it to the recycling center
After meeting David through her running club in 2018, the pair now take Scruff on two five-mile walks a day.
The couple have been using the hashtag £scruffsbottlepatrol to share their pet’s environmental credentials on social media for the last year.
Father-of-two David said: “People say he should work for the committee and when they see him in the street everyone loves it.
“He’s a very obedient dog, very friendly – your typical collie.
“He never chewed the bottle or the cap, he just wanted to play.
“When we were walking together, he would always pick up plastic bottles and love to play with them.
“Scruff will pick them up and want you to play with him, and then he’ll throw it away when you’re done.
“We were worried that people would think Scruff thought we were littering when they dropped them on the ground after they were done playing with them, so we started picking them up and taking them home.”
“That’s how the recycling started. Scruff would pick up the plastic bottles, and when he wasn’t interested in them, we’d put them in the bag.
“We currently store them on the side of the garden shed for a big inventory at the end of the year.
“I think he just wanted to interact with the bottle so he could play and interact with us in the first place.
“Now, he appears to be out looking for them on walks.”
At the end of December, Yvonne and David will set out all the bottles Scruff has collected to find the total.
In the new year, Scruff will continue to pick up litter on his walks, but the couple say they’ll be recycling bottles every month instead.
David, a manufacturing operator for an aerospace company, added: “We started sharing his collection on social media, but we didn’t realize how many bottles he would collect.
“Sometimes he collects 15, sometimes just one – it depends on how dirty the streets are that day.
“Someone said to me the other day that not all heroes wear capes, and that’s what I think Scruff is doing — being a hero.
“We think he’s setting an example for everyone we need to start protecting the planet.
“If a dog can do it, anyone can.”
Neighbor and friend Caroline Round, who also learned to walk Scruff, says he can’t walk past a bottle without picking it up.
She added: “He was so smart. He would always stop and not move on until he picked it up.
“If you’re on the field with him, he loses his lead and goes away. And, when he comes back, he always has a bottle in his mouth.