Ahead of his time: the man who brought recycling to Suffolk

Adrian Dodds

Adrian Dodds - Credit: Archant

Recycling king Adrian Dodds is a proud family man and joint MD of Sackers in Ipswich. He has been in the waste business for over 45 years and has embraced the change in the sector over the years around sustainability and new technology. He focuses on the operations side of the family run business and has overseen a number of investments to remain ahead of the game. He has always lived in Suffolk and is passionate about the county and giving back to the local economy. He talks to Gina Long MBE

What is your connection to East Anglia?

I was born and bred in Ipswich and have always lived here. Dad was a Suffolk lad but grew up in London and mum was from Norfolk so Suffolk was a good middle ground.

What is your East Anglian Heaven ie what do you love most about East Anglia?

This has to be Southwold without a doubt - especially with the beer.

What is your East Anglian Hell ie what you hate most here?

Quite honestly, Ipswich town centre. Over the last 15-20 years, it's really lost its appeal and needs more funding to bring it back up again. I remember the great days at ITFC when Sir Bobby Robson was the manager. We need to get back to the great town we were.

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What's your favourite East Anglian restaurant?

Currently, it's the Grazing Sheep on the Waterfront. My wife Rosie and I love the tapas nights. It's nice simple food which just hits the spot.

What's your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?

On a nice summer evening, there is nothing better than Aldeburgh beach with fish and chips. If my wife is good enough to stay in the queue - I nip into the pub to have a beer.

What's your favourite East Anglian landmark?

Kyson Point in Woodbridge. It's a bit of a trend for me, being near water. My wife and I like going there to walk our two cockapoos.

What's the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?

It's hard to say one thing. The eastern region hosts many great events, it's also dynamic in celebrating so many activities in various sectors that suit all ages.

What's your specialist Mastermind subject?

ACDC! I saw them in the late 60s at Colchester Uni when they were first becoming famous. It was great to then see them 30 years later at Wembley.

What is always in your fridge?

Only the basics really. We don't like to waste (excuse the relevance) so we only buy what we need as we need it. The kids have grown up too so we can run on the minimum.

Your simple philosophy of life?

I try not to let things bother me anymore. I try to sit back and reflect on things.

What's your favourite film?

I'm not a great film buff, but the Dirty Harry films with Clint Eastwood are always a winner for me. It's my fail safe film.

What was your first job?

If you exclude a paper round, it would be working for Photocraft, Ipswich. The owners were family friends. I had to mix chemicals for photo prints - I often wonder what those chemicals were. However, my first very real job was here at Sackers. That was when the learning really started for me. I often reflect on how we as a company have changed and grown, as has our sector. 40 years ago, 'recycling' wasn't heard of, let alone implemented as part of everyday life. I absolutely urge everyone to recycle.

What is your most treasured possession?

Family, without a doubt.

Who do you admire most?

The Queen, she is a wonderful woman. Solid rock to the country - and she looks like my mum!

Your biggest indulgence?

I don't really have anything like that nowadays. I just appreciate everything to its fullest.

What do you like about yourself most?

I consider myself to be approachable, fair and helpful.

Your worst character trait?

I can be forgetful. If I am I beat myself up about it which isn't always productive.

Favourite holiday destination?

Sri Lanka. We went as a family last year and would definitely go again. We made so many happy family memories.

Best day of your life?

The day I was born - 17th December 1960, lol!

What's your favourite breakfast?

Bacon and eggs when I have time. Peanut butter on toast if I am on the hop.

Favourite tipple?

Adnams from Southwold.

What's your hidden talent?

I'm a closet dancer. You should see some of my moves! Not sure my kids appreciate it when I cut some shapes on the dance floor.

When were you most embarrassed?

To be fair, I don't get embarrassed, but my wife says I should, a lot!

What's your earliest memory?

I remember going to Thornley House Pre-school on Norwich road when I was three. The playground was dirt and stones, a bit different to today's preschools with health and safety.

What song would you like played at your funeral?

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird.

Tell us something people don't know about you?

I have no secrets but if/when I retire, I want to see more of the world.

What's the worst thing anyone has ever said to you?

I don't entertain negativity against me so I tend not to get bothered.

Tell us why you live here?

Work, and my family are here. Sadly, my kids see their life outside of Ipswich and have gravitated to the bright lights of London. I hope that one day they might find Suffolk a good place to bring up their families.

What would you like to tell our readers about most?

I can honestly say you only have to travel away to know what a special place Suffolk is and how lucky we are to live here. I enjoy the beautiful countryside so it makes me proud that the business contributes to maintaining it via sustainability. We have always been the 'original greenies', we've always recycled scrap. When I hear the younger generation, including my children, being so passionate about it, I'm pleased as it's second nature to us. It's what we've always done, recycle. For more information visit www.sackers.co.uk

If you'd like to be in My East Anglian Heaven and Hell, contact gina@hallfarmfornham.com

Follow her @geewizzgee1

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