Pupils of five Croydon schools, who have already demonstrated their ecological awareness, are to be given the chance to make even more of a positive impact on our environment.
Recycling in Croydon entered a new phase last year when the domestic food-waste collection service was introduced.
Food that had previously been sent to landfill, producing damaging methane gas as it degraded, is now collected from households and recycled into compost to be used in food production on farms. The scheme's success has been such that it is about to be introduced into blocks of flats across the borough.
The next stage will reward the pupils of five schools who have displayed an enthusiastic and proactive attitude to recycling, with the chance to participate in a 12-week school food-waste collections pilot, with a view to possible expansion across the borough.
The schools that have been selected for the trial are:
- Parish Church Primary School, Warrington Road, Croydon.
- Monks Orchard Primary School, The Glade.
- David Livingstone Primary School, Northwood Road, Thornton Heath.
- Forestdale Primary School, Pixton Way.
- Westwood Girls' College for Languages and Art, Spurgeon Road, Upper Norwood.
Each school will be issued with 7- and 23-litre caddies, to be used in kitchens, dining halls, staff and common rooms. The waste will be collected weekly in 140-litre bins, taken to an anaerobic digestion plant and converted to agricultural fertiliser.
Part of the scheme is to assist schools with the educational aspects of the pilot, and the council's commercial waste and recycling team will conduct presentations and assemblies at each participating school, and monitor the results of the pilot.
Councillor Phil Thomas, cabinet member for environment and highways, said: "It's great to see these school children embracing the council's wish to keep on pushing our recycling figures and sending less waste to landfill.
"The food-waste scheme proved its worth over Christmas when we collected 525 tonnes of waste that would otherwise have ended up in a hole in the ground - and cost council taxpayers for the privilege.
"If we can get the kids completely behind the recycling message, they'll take that message home and help to educate those parents that are still not quite realising that we will all benefit."