Here at Goat Lees, we take recycling very seriously. Alongside our normal scrap paper recycling in around the school and our printer and toner recycling, we have our ongoing partnership with EMR Recycling Centre where pupils and adults collect all kinds of scrap metal: cans, tins, old bikes, pots & pans – basically anything made of metal – in fact, two of our Roots & Shoots Eco Group children spotted a discarded ironing board in the bushes on the way to school the other day and grabbed our site manager to go and collect it. We have been doing extremely well with this project and since joining we have managed to collect so much metal that we have raised over £2500 for the school’s outside projects. We have also been able to pass on the ‘love for scrap metal recycling’ to three other school’s in our local area (one of which won an award for their efforts). It is always nice to help others in their environmental projects.
This year, which is very exciting, we have joined The Duracell Big Battery Hunt. We always collect batteries throughout the year but this year we have signed up to the Duracell online counter as we collected so many batteries last year, we felt we had a chance of gaining a place on the leaderboard. We have been collecting batteries since the beginning of the school year and, to date, we have collected 4306 batteries and are 3rd on the leaderboard. This is amazing and we are so excited to see where we end up at the end of The Big Battery Hunt drive!
Another waste preventing project we are promoting at the moment is our ‘Community Larder Swap Shop’ – a way of making sure there is less food waste (as we all have things in our cupboards and fridges that we don’t use and end up throwing away). It all came about when a couple of our Roots & Shoots Club children, who regularly collect the compostable waste from around the school, noticed that there was a lot of good fruit being put out for the compost heap. This food waste was coming from the healthy snacks that the government supply for all Primary School KS1 children and not all of it was being eaten. We sat down together to try and find a way of using this food, as most of the time the food was still in date and in good condition. The club came up with the idea of expanding our ‘Community Larder’ suggesting it be situated outside our Year 6 classroom so that the children could oversee the project. This larder would allow parents and staff to either ‘swap’ food items they had too much of or no longer need at home, for items they could make use of. Of course, they would also have the option to take items if they need them but had nothing to swap as many families are still finding the current financial climate difficult. After deciding on a way forward, the Roots & Shoots After School Club went ahead and purchased a shed, they then wrote to our local supermarket asking if there was a way they could acquire any food products that they could no longer sell. We are currently waiting on a response from the store itself, but we have had a parent contact us who works for the supermarket involved and is trying to set up a meeting to move this idea forward. The new shed, once stocked with a basic supply of foods (using money from our metal recycling) will hopefully be up and running the start of next term – Monday, 19th February. We will post photos and an update after the Half Term.
We are so proud of our Roots & Shoots Group as they have come up with a lovely way to not only reduce food waste within our school but also help and support those families within our local community who are struggling.