Merton secondary pupils cash in their treasure

Bishopsford Arts College held its first sale day at Merton Council’s Weir Road reuse and recycling centre last week, raising over £73 to contribute to their newly formed eco team’s environmental projects.

As part of the council’s schools engagement programme, six pupils sold their unwanted treasure – furniture, books and toys – to members of the public.

Throughout the year primary schools and charities from across the borough take part in sale days organised by the council and its contractor Environmental Waste Controls (EWC). However, Bishopsford is the first secondary school in the borough to have organised this type of sale day. The school is pushing ahead with its work on environmental issues such as climate change, waste and recycling. Selling items and finding them new homes rather than throwing them away is one way of preventing them from ending up in landfill.

Other projects in the council’s schools engagement programme include a range of interactive workshops and assemblies:

Assemblies
Three r’s – reduce, reuse and recycle
Let’s recycle – children learn about the range of materials that can be recycled
Let’s compost – introduction about why the school should and how the school can compost

Workshops
Paper making – pupils recycle paper into a card
Three r’s fashion fix – children bring in old t-shirts and create an eco-design for them.
Composting and worms – a look at nature’s top recyclers – worms – and at the mini beasts found in a compost heap. Children also learn how to compost.
Rubbish relay – children learn what can be recycled through a series of games.
Waste audit – students discover how much waste is produced in school and how it can be reduced, reused and recycled.
Plastic fantastic – pupils create their own item from old plastic packaging, transforming an old carton into a TARDIS or creating a sculpture from plastic bottles.
Sow ‘n’ grow – pupils plant seeds in recycled containers and learn about composting.
Teddy bears’ picnic – younger children in the borough learn about how to cut down on food waste.

Merton’s full waste education programme can be seen at: http://www.merton.gov.uk/wasteeducationprog

Merton Council’s cabinet member for environment and leisure services, Councillor David Simpson said: “It’s always wonderful to see our young people take such an interest in the environment, and it is great that Bishopsford Arts College is the first secondary school in Merton to get involved in our sale day initiative. Not only are the students preventing things being sent to landfill, they are also raising money for their school – it’s a win-win all round.

“We work hard to put our residents’ needs first by protecting the borough for future generations and this includes reducing the number of unwanted items being sent to landfill. This scheme clearly shows that what might be one person’s rubbish could be another person’s treasure.”

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Notes to editor

Merton has 41 schools registered to the eco-schools programme. The programme provides a framework for schools to become more sustainable through a series of actions aimed at reducing our environmental impact and saving money.

Environmental Waste Controls is a waste and recycling management company which provides waste, recycling and compaction services in Merton.