Those magnificent recycling men and their flying machines

Jumbo jet awaits its fate in the Cotswolds

 Pictures:Tony Hutchings

In the depths of the countryside in the Cotswolds there is an amazingly good story about a recycling success that no-one has noticed. Jets as young as seven years old from major airlines like easyJet are being ” parted out” and 100 per cent recycled in a green revolution started as a family business.

Your Boeing 737 is having its engines, flying gear, brakes, seats re-used as spares for other aircraft. The lightweight aluminium is being turned in beer cans and artists and sculptors are buying plane spare parts to turn into standard lamps, mirrors and coffee tables.

another jet awaits its fate

The full story is in this week’s Sunday Times magazine but here are some of the amazing pictures of the people taken by my Berkhamsted friend and photographer Tony Hutchings. He can be contacted at

Planes at ASI's scrapyard in the Cotswolds

Politically this an extraordinary good news story. The firm ASI (Aircraft Salvage International ) -see their website at  is run by father and son team Mark and Bradley Gregory and has created some 40 or more jobs from scratch. The ” green ” revolution enables all the  plane parts to be reused and means that passengers are now flying in brand new more fuel-efficient jobs when they go on holiday.

Star Wars feel to the stripped inside of a jet

The author pretends to be a pilot

The government should be shouting this success from the rooftops, the environmentalists should be pleased and questions should be asked why the much larger motor industry has recycling rates at much lower recycling rates and still a blight on the countryside.

 At the moment there is just silence on these remarkable achievements.

7 thoughts on “Those magnificent recycling men and their flying machines

  1. I agree, this seems terrific.
    No irony intended, but how did it get there and how do those stereo-typical Cotswolders feel about it?


  2. Loved the article and the pictures, should have been longer – and why aren’t people excited about the double whammy – not tearing bauxite etc. out of the ground and re-using beautifly designed perfectly serviceable equipment. Govt. (i.e. we) need to insist on an agreed annual increase in recyclability …er..if it doesn’t already exist…on vehicles especially.
    Just a thought … link the recycability to a perceived cost saving on a new veh by the marketing team.
    Thanks for the opportunity for my Thursday morning rant.
    Great article..

    Not quite : Mr Reardon of Berhamsted.


  3. yes – but where can I buy one of the standard lamps? I think one would look very nice in my lounge, next to my pile of plane spotter magazines.


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