Greener Cleaner Crew on waste watching mission
Published by Becki Ord for IPB Communications in Housing and also in Communities
Wharton Waste Watchers (left to right) Tommie Smith, Beth McMullen, Emily Edwards and Josh Thomason with Alison Heaton (Education Officer Viridor Laing Limited) taking a close look at what happens to everyday rubbish that gets thrown away on a visit to a
RECYCLING was the lesson of the day for a group of young environmentalists when they visited a Manchester waste plant to see how rubbish is reused.
The youngsters, from Wharton Primary School in Little Hulton, are members of the Greener Cleaner Crew – an initiative set up by City West Housing Trust to encourage children to help make their neighbourhoods better places to live.
The visit to the Materials Recovery Facility, a state-of-the-art recycling facility in Sharston, comes after the group, who have named themselves the Wharton Waste Watchers, transformed an area of wasteland in Amblecote by clearing litter and planting flowers.
10-year-old pupil Joshua Thomason said: “It was really interesting seeing what happens to the rubbish when it gets recycled.
“I think it’s really good that things like plastic and paper can be used again because it’s better for the environment and it stops the rubbish having to be buried in the ground.”
The Wharton Waste Watchers are one of 10 Greener Cleaner Crews set up in schools across the West Salford area, with a further five to follow over the next year.
Pupils are initially visited by City West’s Communities Team, who talk to the children about environmental issues such as litter, graffiti and fly tipping and what they can do to improve their local neighbourhoods.
The group then chooses a name and is given a budget of £1,000 – provided by the Local Area Panel – which goes towards providing equipment and organising events. Local Area Panels are run by local people who make decisions about their area.
The aim of the Greener Cleaner Crews is to involve staff, customers and other agencies to work together and address environmental issues within a neighbourhood.
Primarily the crews address issues of littering, fly tipping and the condition of gardens and shared areas. However, the crews are also designed to go beyond this to raise awareness of recycling and wider environmental issues.
The recycling plant trip was part of a week of activities organised for the Greener Cleaner Crews by City West, along with Salford City Council’s Environmental Services, Greater Manchester Police, the Youth Service and the Primary Care Trust, which are all supporting the project.
Suzanne Carr, Deputy Head of Wharton Primary School, said: “We were really keen to take part in the Cleaner Greener Crew scheme.
“We already teach the children about the environment and recycling and taking part in this project has really brought these issues to life for them.
“The visit to the recycling plant was a fantastic experience and has definitely made us all think more about what happens to our rubbish. We’re now looking forward to planning our next activity.”
The Cleaner Greener Crews project is one of a number of partnership schemes which have led to City West being awarded a number of top environmental accolades from Keep Britain Tidy.
The organisation recently picked up its second Cleaner Greener Safer Neighbourhood Quality Mark, for The Valley estate in Swinton, and last year became the first housing association in the country to receive Exemplar status for its work in the New Lane Estate.
Matt Jones, Assistant Director of Communities and Neighbourhoods at City West Housing Trust, said: “Our aim is to for our neighbourhoods to be places that tenants are proud to call home and projects such as the Greener Cleaner Crew are instilling a real sense of community pride in local people.
“By working with children we are able to teach them about environmental issues from a young age while also benefiting from their enthusiasm and imagination when it comes to organising events and activities.
“With more schools joining the scheme this year the future of our neighbourhoods is looking really positive.”
Hot on the heels of the group’s visit is Recycle Now Week, an annual awareness raising event which is running this week from 18-24 June. The event aims to raise awareness of the importance of recycling and City West will be getting involved by providing top tips to staff and customers all week.
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