Plans are underway to install an interactive, waste-guzzling sculpture in Sunderland city centre – and the public has been asked to help.

Sunderland BID has joined forces with North East-based TA!LAB to design a unique work of art to be sited at Market Square.

And not only will the, as yet unnamed, the sculpture provides an attractive addition to the area, but it will have a highly practical and environmental element.

It is designed to replicate a vending machine but, rather than give items out, it will collect products that can then be recycled, with a visual ‘reward’ for the person who contributes.

The machine will have different slots for different kinds of products, such as plastic, glass and metal, which are particularly relevant in a city centre where people may be walking around with bottles or cans of drinks.

And, the BID hopes it will become a local attraction, boosting visitor numbers and the economy, and helping to teach young people about the need to recycle.

It has launched a crowdfunding page in the hope of raising £3,558 to create, install and maintain the sculpture and Sharon Appleby, Chief Executive at Sunderland BID, hopes people will “really get behind the project.”

“This sculpture works on so many levels,” she said, “from increasing awareness of the value of recycling to making our city centre a cleaner, greener and more pleasant place to visit.

“It will also be an invaluable tool in explaining to children from an early age about the importance of recycling – hopefully creating good habits which will last them a lifetime.”

Donations can be made via and pledges will only be charged if the project hits its funding goal of £3,558 by 19 June

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