Electrical waste recycling can be child’s play

YEAR 5 pupils from Chandag Primary School in Keynsham spent the day learning about the recycling of electrical and electronic equipment waste during a workshop at the town’s recycling centre.

The event was one of a series of five being held for three primary schools in the Saltford and Keynsham area that have been funded by Valpak, a waste management and recycling service that partners with Bath & North East Somerset Council to remove and recycle electrical and electronic equipment.

The sessions are being run by education officers from the council’s waste team alongside the play team from Children’s Scrapstore, a charity in Bristol dedicated to helping businesses divert reusable waste away from landfill/energy recovery to help improve art and play opportunities for children, young people and adults.

During the workshop, the Chandag pupils learned how to sort materials according to their properties and were tasked with placing items such as milk cartons, tin cans, spectacles, batteries and clothes in the correct recycling containers. They also learned how to identify and recycle electrical products.

Windows in the ‘classroom’ meant the pupils could watch the waste collection vehicles coming in and out of the Keynsham site, and a televised feed enabled them to watch the recycling line in the MRF (materials recovery facility) as waste items were sorted.

The second part of the workshop was led by Children’s Scrapstore. Pupils learned how waste can be reused to create new items and were challenged to create something using an old phone handset and various scrap materials, including pipe cleaners and buttons.

The session was run to align with KS2 Science objectives, and one of the key learnings was to be able to identify an electronic product and know that can be recycled. A homework sheet was provided to help pupils share their new learning with their family.

James Nash, commercial manager at Valpak, said: “Instilling knowledge and fostering recycling habits through initiatives like this is of utmost importance for the environment as a whole. In turn, we express our gratitude for the significant efforts undertaken by the council to make this happen, and we eagerly anticipate a continued partnership.”

The last two workshops will take place on Friday 7 June, and more than 150 pupils from Chandag Primary School St Keyna Primary School, and Saltford C of E Primary School will have attended the sessions.

The scrap materials used in the workshop are safe surplus stock collected directly by the Children’s Scrapstore from local businesses and industry. You can find out more about the Scrapstore on their website.