THE topic of climate change and the borderline irreversible damage suffered by the planet at the hands of humanity is now discussed with a great degree of urgency.

Everyone from Oscar-winning film stars and social media celebrities, to district councillors and school teachers are placing a huge emphasis on the eco-crisis.

Huge conglomerate companies are working to reduce their plastic waste, while others are looking to increase the number of meat-free and vegan options they offer.

Undeniably, the skyrocketed significance now placed on sustainability is a monumental step in the right direction to preserving the future of the world.

But long before caring about climate change was the trendy pastime - or annoying necessity - it now is, some people were already working away and altering their lifestyles in a bid to slow down the imminent danger.

Karl Dixon, the owner of A and D Reclaim, in Sladbury’s Lane, Clacton, is one of those who decided to take action before doing so truly entered the mainstream.

He opened his business back in 2010, six years prior to the launch of the Paris Agreement and nine years before Tendring Council declared a climate emergency.

His aim was to help the climate quality of the local area by encouraging people to reconsider simply scrapping their unwanted belongings.

Karl said: “I started this because I care about the environment and because when things are just scrapped, the damage to the environment is crazy.

“I don’t expect a pat on the back, but I have been battling to make this work from the start, even when people said it wouldn’t.

“I have been fighting for years but now all of sudden everyone is coming out saying they are green, but how are they actually stopping climate change?

“They are just protesting, which is fine, but everyone seems to be just jumping on the bandwagon now.

“Climate change has become a trend and I still don’t think people really understand what they are doing.”

Specifically, Karl’s contribution to reversing the climate crisis comes from repairing, renovating and repurposing anything he can get his hands on.

Previously, for example, Karl and his team accepted a batch of unusable urinals which were otherwise destined for the dump.

Not deterred by the blandness of a toilet, Karl bought them, and eventually found a buyer who creatively transformed them into unique looking, avant-garde flowerpots.

“The urinals honestly look fantastic now, they really do,” he said.

“We buy items to stop them going to scrapyards or landfills and there is no other company in the area doing what we are doing.

“We get all sorts through the door and if we weren’t here where would it all go?”

Despite the positive work they do, recycling centres can still have a carbon footprint, as a result of the many machines they use to either sort or dispose of rubbish.

But in comparison to the harmful way in which landfill sites go about disposing of waste, recycling centres are surely the priceless antique in a skip full of tut.

Karl, however, believes aspects of recycling has its flaws and can be just as detrimental to the cause.

“Recycling is better than it used to be, but it is not productive at all and I think people only do it instead of what we do because it is cheaper,” he said.

“You can’t have people throwing away waste metal and having it squashed down and say it is recycling.

“It is sad because some people would rather take their stuff to the tip than give it to us for free, which would help to stop damaging the environment.

“It is absolutely madness to have that mentality.”

Karl’s rabbit hole of all things salvageable houses everything from retro cars and studio lighting, to vintage iron cast garden rollers and gigantic boat anchors.

In the past year, for example, A and D Reclaim has prevented a staggering 26 tonnes of produce from being crushed down or becoming waste at a landfill.

Anything he can physically squeeze in between the four corrugated metal walls of his overflowing unit in rural Clacton, he will, if it helps make for a less polluted world.

Karl said: “I have no money in my pocket, because all of my money is in stock – we try and renovate everything.

“We have so much stuff, which I think is normal now, but people say we are like an Aladdin’s Cave.

“We have 1960s furniture in here, ploughs from the turn of the century, and a piano that you actually have to pump for it to work. We have even had old bombs before.”

Karl’s unblinkered ability to see past the scratched metalwork of an antique or the torn material of a Victorian stool is commendable and somewhat thought-provoking.

Unlike those who flippantly disregard without thought, he spots potential in the abandoned, figurative orphans which arrive bedraggled on his doorstep.

Ultimately, Karl’s work is as big a boost for the environment, as it is for the capsules of history which would otherwise be ground down into particles of nothingness.

But he can’t do it alone.

“If there were ten companies doing what I do around here, the area would be so much greener,” he said.

“We aren’t going to make a massive dent, but we do a service for the environment here and we are helping the planet because we are minimising damage.

“And we are preserving iconic items, and history.”

To find out more about A and D Reclaim, visit