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Recycle Challenge Winners



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Shirwell Community Primary School joined forces with SWM to help children understand what happens to their recycling.

Two groups of children twenty-six 7-11 year olds and twenty-four 4-7 year olds visited the SWM & Waste Recycling head office in Roundswell, Barnstaple.

Children were given a tour by Phil Akers, Depot Manager and Reg Pearce, Environmental Health & Safety Manager and were shown what happens to various waste materials including cardboard/ paper, plastics and metal. The children saw waste material being processed and made ready for delivery into the supply chains. They were also able to see heavy-duty equipment including scrap handlers and plastic processing machines.

Simon Allen, Head of Shirwell Community Primary School said ‘Our intention was to give our children a hands on view of the first step in the recycling chain and for them to begin to build an appreciation for why landfill is a last resort”. Phil Akers added, “The children were brilliantly behaved and totally engaged and interested. It was a joy to see how excited they were and to feed their enquiring minds’.

SWM issued a challenge to students to see who could collect the most plastic milk bottle tops (made from High Density Polyethylene, HDPE for short). As this is highly recyclable material and separating these everyday items is easy and means that they wont end up in landfill.

Children learnt that these will go on to be granulated on site and sent for re-processing and may end up as car battery casings, storage containers, re-usable shopping bags or maybe even a bottle top again.

Fraiser and Lenny, brothers in Class 1 and Freya Golding in Class 2 collected the most with 2kg and 1.2kg respectively and each won a book voucher.

Reg Pearce added “SWM were able reinforce the need to recycle, re-use and repair, rather than let waste go to landfill sites and this had a positive impact with students who were making plans to spread the word at home”.

It was a day students will never forget and hopefully it made a lasting impression that will make a difference to how they view waste in future.

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