Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School pupils celebrate the launch of Recycle Week. Picture by Gareth Jones

Young recycling champions rewarded

Pupils at a Liverpool primary school have been rewarded for their hard work spreading the message about the importance of recycling.

Children at Our Lady Immaculate Catholic Primary School in Everton have been working with the city council’s recycling team to drive up the rate at their school, and also in the local community.

Each class has a reusable bag for its recyclable waste which has been so successful it has meant them having to get more Eurobins to take the rubbish, ran their own recycle week in June and are looking at options to reduce non-recyclable waste in the school.

To mark National Recycling Week, they were presented with a School Recycling Champion certificate to honour their achievements.

The city has a target of recycling 55 percent of household waste by 2020 – but it is currently on around 34 percent.

There is a huge variance in rates across Liverpool, with some wards achieving over 50 percent but others as low as 11 percent. Around 21,000 tonnes of recyclable items are wrongly placed in the purple bin every year.

The city council has launched a number of projects to drive up rates, including:

• Bigger 90 litre recycling bags for 28,000 terraced properties
• Introducing recycling collections to 5,500 city centre apartments
• Tackling contamination of recycling bins in terraced areas
• Knocking on doors and speaking to residents in areas with low recycling rates

The council’s Cabinet recently gave the go-ahead to a £6 million programme to tackle underlying issues with waste, litter and vermin in alleyways, which are also designed to make it easier for people to recycle. It will see a communal waste container placed in areas on black bin bag collections and areas with wheelie bins getting a collection from their back gate.

Councillor James Noakes, Cabinet member with responsibility for recycling, said: “Our recycling rate has improved significantly over the last decade, but it is clear we still need to do much more to get it to where we want it to be.

“As well as being good for the environment, there is also a financial issue because every tonne of residual waste from the purple bins costs twice as much to treat as recyclable waste. This means an additional bill of around £1.2 million per year for council tax payers – money we would much rather spend on frontline services.

“Getting young people to act as ambassadors and encourage behaviour change is a big part of our work, because we know they can be big influencers at home in getting mums and dads to do more.

“That is why we are continuing to find new ways to reach out to communities and support them to recycle, including getting schools to do their bit – and it is brilliant that the pupils at Our Lady Immaculate have really embraced it.”

Liverpool Waterfront