Rotherham youngsters tackle WEEE waste!

Published Monday, 24th February 2014
Recycling in schools
Recycling in schools

Bright "green" sparks at two Rotherham schools have been rewarded for campaigns highlighting the importance of recycling old, unused or unloved electrical items.

Both Milton Special School and St. Bede's RC Primary were presented with £500 worth of vouchers each to spend on useful electrical items for their schools after being successful at designing creative campaign materials.

The Council is working in partnership with DHL Envirosolutions to recycle WEEE from the four Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) and promote the importance of sustainable disposal and recycling of the waste stream.

The competition was focused on raising awareness of the importance of recycling domestic electrical appliances. The campaign was part of a dedicated resource pack supplied by DHL Envirosolutions to teach pupils about the impact electrical waste can cause on the environment if not managed in a sustainable way. The competition was open to pupils of all ages and abilities.

Waste electrical and electronic equipment, known as WEEE, is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. Every year an estimated two million tonnes of WEEE are thrown out by households and companies in the UK.

More importantly WEEE waste can provide a considerable risk to health and the environment if it is not disposed of correctly as they can contain dangerous metals and chemicals. Also, WEEE is full of scarce and valuable raw materials that can be reused and recycled to prevent the exploitation of virgin materials.

The IT Club at St Bede's decided to create an animated film to teach people about the impacts of not recycling WEEE waste correctly. The film follows the exploits of 'Cheeky Monkey' and provides an excellent story of how he learned about the importance of recycling WEEE. The pupils took the lead in creating, writing and editing this expertly-done film. St Bede's are looking to spend their prize on new sound recording equipment for the school.

Milton Special School, which has a strong commitment to learning how to be more environmentally friendly and was awarded an Eco-Schools Green Flag Award, last year, took the musical route. Pupils at Milton School decided to write and record a version of "What Makes You Beautiful" by 'One Direction' entitled "That's Why We Recycle", which highlighted the importance of disposing of electrical equipment correctly. Milton School have decided to spend their prize on new sets of headphones for the pupils.

Brad Johnson, Carbon Reduction Officer for the Council, said it was vital to help the young generation recycle their electrical waste and provide an example to their parents.

"Children are becoming increasingly surrounded by electrical items at home and even in school. That is why it is so important that we help them understand what is contained within electrical equipment and the significant environmental impact they have if not disposed of in a proper manner.

"Reusing and recycling electrical waste helps prevent contamination of soil and ground water and ensures materials are used effectively. Many thanks should go to DHL Envirosolutions for making this programme possible and providing the education resources and prizes."

Gavin Sharp, a teacher at St Bede's, said: "The resource material was excellent and the children have become very passionate about the issue of WEEE recycling as result. I have been really impressed by the way they have approached this issue. They have tackled it with an increased sense of maturity and stunned me with their commitment to making their film."