Isle of Wight primary and middle schools are taking part in a new scheme aimed at rewarding students for their efforts to recycle waste. The Recycling Rewards for Schools scheme aims to encourage students to get their family, friends and neighbours to ‘pledge’ to recycle.
Each ‘pledge’ a student obtains is returned to the school and counted as points towards a grand total. At the end of the scheme in March 2008, the number of points amassed by the students through pledges can be used to purchase equipment for the respective school. This can include musical instruments, digital camcorders, televisions and computer equipment.
The scheme, which begins on 29 October, works by giving each student a pledge book which is similar to a cheque book. Those who take part sign a pledge slip saying they promise to recycle more waste using facilities provided by the council. Each slip also contains details of the council’s kerbside waste collection services, web address and contact numbers.
Last year on the Isle of Wight more than 40,000 tonnes of waste went into landfill, although more than 55% of household waste collected on the Island was diverted from landfill. This makes Isle of Wight Council one of the UK’s top local authorities for cutting down on burying household waste.
Sarah Buttress is Isle of Wight Council’s Waste Minimisation & Recycling Officer. She says “With the importance of recycling and looking after our environment constantly getting coverage in the news, it is vital we continue to show Island youngsters just how important recycling is. By getting their friends and family involved in the scheme by pledging to recycle, not only are they helping the environment, but they’re also allowing their schools the chance to obtain new equipment.”.
Tim Hunter-Henderson is Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet member for the Environment and says “The council is amongst the best in the UK in diverting household waste from landfill. We are also the first area in the country to pioneer gasification technology which will generate electricity for 2000 homes. Encouraging students to recycle more rubbish can only help contribute to the excellent efforts already being made by the council to ensure the Isle of Wight is a greener and better place to live”.