Students getting their hands dirty
Year 7 students, together with members of the Sustainability Group of Ivybridge Community College, have just completed a waste audit of the College.
In one day all the waste produced by the College was collected and weighed. It totalled a staggering 369kg, equivalent to the weight of 5 science teachers per day, over a year this would be 54 Mini Coupes!
Each class of volunteers received a talk on safety and hygiene and armed with gloves the children got their hands dirty sifting the waste. Some students were very enthusiastic, and some needed a nudge, but eventually everyone got involved separating the waste.
The waste collected was separated into various recycling and non-recycling waste streams such as card, paper, plastic bottles, glass, food etc. It was estimated that over 70% of the waste could actually be recycled. At present the College recycles only 27% of waste, but with some few small changes the College aims to make sure it plays its part in being sustainable going forward.
The next challenge is to meet the target of recycling 70% of the College waste and ensure the Year 7 students continue to be engaged and pass on their knowledge and new habits of recycling to the future students of Ivybridge Community College.
Once the process is running successfully at Ivybridge Community College the plan is to roll out the process across the entire thirteen schools of the Westcountry Schools Trust, to make a positive impact across Devon, Plymouth and South East Cornwall.
Mark Bullard, Estates Director, said “It was amazing to actually visualise how much we throw out every day, when you add it all up it is a lot. We want to see if we can stop throwing so much away and make sure it doesn’t get into the sea.
The Year 7 students, supported by members from the College’s Sustainability Group, were a great help. They left the sessions with an increased awareness of the impact of their lifestyles on the planet and what they can do to help improve their environment.”