A COUPLE who have dedicated their lives to sorting through hard-to-recycle rubbish that would otherwise end up in landfill, have been praised as "heroes".

Sussex residents Sue and John Welfare appeared on last night's Secret World of Your Rubbish on Channel 5, and left audiences feelings inspired with their dedication to recycling.

The couple, who have been married 47 years, claim they've recycled more than 200,000 biscuit wrappers and more than 72,000 crisps packets so far.

The Lancing pair also sort through toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, baby and pet food pouches, which they collect from neighbours before sending it to Terracycle, which re-purposes waste into containers or furniture.

The Argus:

Viewers were impressed with the couple's good work as well as the initiative, and stressed we could all do a bit more recycling.

"Sue & John deserve an OBE. Top people," one viewer wrote.

"Real superheroes don’t wear capes, they wear high viz’s," one joked.

"Love Sue and John! Recycling heroes," a fellow viewer added, while another described them as "fascinating".

Sue explained that she and John got started on their recycling adventure thanks to a pack of coffee.

The Argus:

"We started because I found it on the back of a Kenko coffee pack," Sue explained.

The association pays its contributors by weight, and the pensioner, who volunteers for the local NSPCC, said she thought it'd be a good way to raise money.

"My first cheque was £42, which I thought was brilliant. For six months [worth of rubbish collection]," Sue joked.

The couple sort through rubbish at home, including dead pens, food pouches, toothpaste tubes, lids and more.

The programme explained that these are especially hard to recycle, because they're made of multi-material plastic, which made the process difficult and expensive.

But Sue and John decided to sort through rubbish by hand to make sure no waste would be left behind to rot in landfill.

"The garage, our lives, everything is taken over by recycling," she said.

"If we know it's recyclable, we can't throw it away," she added.

"We're both passionate about recycling anyway.

"There's always another life for something."

Sue and John claimed they had already collected 206,751 biscuit wrappers and 72,684 crisps packets at the time of filming.

The programme revealed that the UK produces 11 million crisps packets a day, most of which don't get recycled.