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Merseyside Schools in ‘rags to riches’ challenge

Merseyside pupils are helping their schools earn extra cash under a Merseyside-wide campaign to recycle and reuse old textiles.

The 20 Tonne Textile Challenge is the brainchild of the Merseyside’s Eco Resource Network and is being funded by Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority (MRWA) and Veolia Environmental Services and sets Merseyside schools the challenge of finding ways of transforming or reusing a total of 20 tonnes of old textiles by March.

Schools will get up to £500 for every tonne they can save from landfill and pupils will receive help from teachers who have taken part in special workshops to learn about recycling techniques.

Schools which have so far received either training or special assemblies as part of the project include:

Liverpool
Gateacre School
Northcote Primary
Beacon CoE Primary
Northway Primary, Wavertree
St Julie’s Catholic High, Woolton
Trinity Catholic Primary

Knowsley
St Margaret Mary’s
Whiston Willis Primary

Wirral
Hilbre High School
St Joseph’s Primary School, Upton

MRWA Chairperson Councillor Joe DeAsha said: “Research has shown that twenty-two thousand tonnes of Merseyside textiles goes to landfill every year. This project is about getting pupils to think about how they can make a real difference – both now and for years to come – by finding new uses for the material they would otherwise have thrown away.”

Jason Ward of Liverpool World Centre, an Eco Resource Network partner, said: “The aim is to get at least 20 schools involved to gather a total of 20 tonnes of textiles and use assemblies and lesson time to get schools really thinking about different ways of recycling and reusing the materials.”

The 20 Tonne Textile Challenge was one of several Merseyside projects which have received funding from MRWA’s Community Fund to reduce the amount of waste currently going to landfill, through waste collections, education and workshops that will teach people new skills.

The Eco Resource Network is made up of Liverpool World Centre, Faiths 4 Change, Rotters Community Composting and Energy Projects Plus.