Riverside Primary pupils achieve 1st milestone in recycling pilot

School kids standing in front of recycling kiosk

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What is the recycling pilot?

Headteacher Nick Stevens and pupil Sarah Nazir, Falah Ramadhan, Abdullah Ahmed and Souradrita Bhowmik, proudly recycled the 1,000th plastic bottle at Riverside Primary School. The recycling pilot has only been running for 6 weeks in Maidenhead, but the school already looks to cash in hugely on the scheme.
 
Our pilot with schools in the Royal Borough looks to understand how schools can help in increasing the recycling rate of plastic bottles. The UK currently uses around 13 billion single-use plastic bottles a year. Sadly, the recycling rate has plateaued at 57 per cent for the past five years. Three billion of those bottles end up in the bin, incinerated or littered. Ultimately, they often find their way into the countryside or the marine environment.
 
Riverside Primary School is one of 16 schools in the Royal Borough to take part in the Greenredeem pilot which began in January 2019. Local schools in the Royal Borough are at the forefront of the initial phase. Meaning they will be able to benefit from a share of a £50k fund. The recycling kiosks are in 16 schools across the Borough; pupils are encouraged to recycle their plastic bottles. For every bottle collected, the school will receive a 5p donation, to a maximum of 40,000 bottles per school. The outcomes of the pilot will be published later this year. Furthermore, the primary evidence will then be sent to DEFRA as the government consults on England’s future waste and recycling strategy.
Local school kids celebrating with their recycling efforts

A wider community effort

The pilot is truly a community effort. Plastic bottles are being collected and donated at litter picks, which are being organised by Maidenhead MattersThe volunteer group lead by Donna Stimson works across Maidenhead with the objective of keeping Maidenhead plastic and litter freeIn fact, they organise a variety of activities including roving litter picks to improve the local environment.

Reviews of the recycling pilot

Nick Stevens, Headteacher at Riverside Primary School. “We really welcome this pilot as a rewarding and motivational approach to recycling as many plastic bottles as possible on the goThe pupils, parents and friends of the school, as well as the volunteers from Maidenhead Matters, have really got behind the opportunity. We’re proud to already be up to our 1,000th plastic bottle already. The kiosk that Greenredeem installed has become a real focal point. Our enthusiastic team of Eco-Warriors are taking the lead on processing the bottles that we collect…they are keen to GreenredeemWith lesson plans provided by Plastic Ocean Foundation UK, we’re also able to create many links and discussion points across the curriculum.”
 
Matthew Ball, Managing Director, Greenredeem. “The Government’s recent Resources and Waste Strategy outlines ambitions to roll out a deposit return scheme (DRS) for disposable beverage containers. But not until 2023. Our pilot provides a readily available scalable solution linked to education that benefits all stakeholders. By creating a closed loop system for plastic bottle recycling, we believe that this model can make a significant contribution to reducing the number of disposed plastic bottles that and not recycled.”
 
Donna Stimson, Founding Volunteer at Maidenhead Matters. “Litter is everywhere. But it should not be. Our community and residents deserve better. Our roving litter picks take place every week. We encourage members of the community to join us – even if they have only an hour to spare. Working in conjunction with Greenredeem is a real win-win. Not only do we improve the environment in Maidenhead, but schools like Riverside Primary benefit financially.
 

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