London marvels at the wonders of recycling and waste

Around 1,800 visitors to Veolia’s Wonder Weekend came in their droves to learn about recycling and waste as two facilities opened their doors to the public as part of Open House London.


On Saturday 16 September the Southwark Integrated Waste Management Facility welcomed a record number of visitors, over 1,000 people, to see how recycling gets separated and black bag waste gets treated before energy recovery. The following day, over 700 people completed the story at the South East London Combined Heat and Power (SELCHP) Facility to see how waste becomes green energy.
Speaking about the day at Southwark’s facility, one of the most advanced in Europe, Fabrice Bouchon General Manager for Veolia Southwark said, ‘It has been an incredible day, this event is now in its fifth year and I believe it’s been the best so far. The children have loved the recycling craft workshops, vehicle display and Junk Orchestra and many people have told us how interesting and thought provoking the site tour was. It was a pleasure to see so many people enthused by waste and recycling’.
In addition to the tours of the facilities, visitors were able to enjoy a variety of attractions. These included a display of Veolia collection vehicles and JCBs, a birds of prey display and the interactive Recycling Discovery Centre that welcomed children and adults to learn about materials and the lifecycle and origin of materials.  
Another popular part of the days was an ‘ask the experts’ panel where visitors had the opportunity to question industry experts about recycling and how Veolia is using waste as a resource. The panel was made up of representatives from Veolia and Resource London. Visitors were also put to the test with a recycling quiz for a chance to win prizes.
Visitors ended their day with the sweet taste of Old Kent Road Honey which was produced by the bees that live onsite. The honey was well received and helped raise £250 for FoodCycle.
Here’s what visitors to Southwark and SELCHP’s Wonder Days had to say:
Laura Beal, vistor to Southwark - ‘Touring the recycling facility was so eye-opening! It was amazing to watch the sorting process and see the interplay of technology and human effort. My kids were fascinated!’
Kaoru Tada, vistor to Southwark - ‘Excellent learning programme, which actually encouraged me to recycle things more.’
Vistor to SELCHP ‘Very interesting to see where our waste ends up.’
Vistor to SELCHP ‘An awe-inspiring and amazing facility.’