Waste awareness is becoming increasingly important in Cumbria's schools. Not only is it an essential life skill that today's pupils should develop at an early age, it is also key to the economic and environmental impact of the school itself.
It is estimated that Cumbria's Primary and Secondary schools produce some 2,245 tonnes of waste each year*. The cost to the county of landfilling this waste would be in the region of £168,000. Of this waste, mostly discarded food, paper and card, an estimated 78% could be readily recycled or landfilled, potentially saving an estimated 1580 tonnes of CO2.
There are 2 key areas in which your school can make a big difference:
Firstly you can implement a waste reduction programme of your own. By introducing even basic recycling facilities and a wider programme of waste reduction measures you can take the first steps to becoming a greener school. There are lots of information sources to help you through this process and the Resource Cumbria Waste Education Team will be happy to support you with individual advice and practical assistance.
Secondly, by making waste awareness a key part of your school's culture you will not only encourage your pupils to contribute to the school's green agenda but you will also be helping them to develop as environmentally-aware individuals - a quality that will help them throughout all walks of life.
When these two areas are combined in an effective manner your school will be well on the way to achieving their Green Flag as part of the Eco-Schools Scheme. Eco-Schools is an international awards programme which guides schools on their sustainable journey and provides a framework which enables them to embed these principles into the heart of school life.
* Based on Waste Reduction Action Programme (WRAP) estimates. www.wrap.org.uk