Classroom with a difference helps take recycling message to schools
23 May 2023
Cheshire East Council has had access to a unique moving classroom to go on tour visiting primary schools across the borough.
Together with Ansa Environmental Services – the council’s wholly-owned waste and recycling service provider – Cheshire East has worked closely with waste collection vehicle manufacturer Dennis Eagle, to offer visits to schools which registered for this interactive experience. The moving classroom is aptly named Dennis.
Dennis is a former waste collection vehicle which has been converted into a mobile classroom, so that pupils get the chance to see inside while learning about waste reduction and recycling.
Over two weeks in April, an Ansa HGV driver, waste education officers and Cheshire East waste reduction volunteers delivered interactive sessions for schoolchildren. The mobile classroom enabled the council to share recycling and waste reduction messages with more than 2,600 pupils across the borough.
Tom Shuttleworth, interim director of Cheshire East Council’s environment and neighbourhood services, said: “The converted vehicle is a fun and memorable space to learn and the children really enjoyed these sessions where they learned more about the benefits of recycling and different ways to re-use unwanted items.
“Pupils are already knowledgeable about recycling in general and the impacts of single use plastics. They are keen to understand how this affects their environment and are eager to learn and do more. It has been a very positive experience to help facilitate that.”
Laura Demircan, community engagement officer for Ansa, said: “These sessions have a genuine impact on how pupils learn about the environment and how plastics and litter make their way to rivers and oceans. They really encourage pupils to continue learning – some schools have already set up eco and recycling groups. These groups share information at assemblies, which help spread the message in schools.
“Following the school visits, teachers and staff spoke about setting up additional recycling bins within schools, as well as collection points for other items such as empty crisp packets to send off for recycling. It was inspirational speaking to pupils and staff at schools across the borough”.
Mrs Thompson, principal at Leighton Academy, said: “Our children thoroughly enjoyed learning about how our rubbish is recycled and how we can do more to reduce our carbon footprint and support our community in reducing waste in order to protect the planet. It was a brilliant visit!”
Workshops will continue to be offered to schools and community groups throughout the year. The council will also be promoting its junior recycling officer competition, where schools nominate pupils to be their recycling officers and they compete to be the junior recycling officer of the year. Visit: Recycling in schools (cheshireeast.gov.uk) for further information.