With 90 per cent of school children in the North West saying they understand the threat of global warming and 79 per cent of them recycling at home, it is no wonder that Manchester’s new education centre, Waste Works, has proved such a massive hit with local schools.
Based at The Co-operative’s recycling centre, which opened in September 2007, it has already welcomed more than 1,000 pupils from schools in nine out of ten Greater Manchester boroughs.
At Waste Works, school children can see first-hand the Co-operative’s award-winning, closed-loop recycling system where paper, collected from its head office as well as from local schools and businesses, is recycled and converted into the toilet and kitchen paper sold in its high street stores. The Co-op’s in-house office waste-recycling centre is the largest of its kind in the UK. As well as paper, they collect cardboard, tin cans, plastic cups and other waste products that can be recycled.
Visits to Waste Works can be tailor-made and incorporated into many Key Stage 2 National Curriculum subjects, such as design and technology, science, geography and citizenship.
‘Both waste management and climate change are some of the biggest environmental issues facing our society, so it is important that we raise the awareness of them amongst our school children,’ says Melanie Phillips, Community and Campaigns Manager at the Co-op. ‘In its first four months, Waste Works has received some fantastic feedback from schools to say it is a valuable education resource. The centre shows pupils what happens to all the rubbish they throw away at school and this teaches them all about the wider issues of climate change and sustainability.’
Ray Moloney, a teacher at St Joseph’s Primary School in Manchester, one of the first schools to visit the centre, says: ‘Waste Works is a thoroughly enjoyable and educational visit enjoyed by all the children involved.’
Children learn out about recycled
paper on a day out to Waste Works
Photo: © Waste Works