In the pink - trash turns into cash for Kingston schools

Three Kingston schools have scooped prizes in a regional campaign to stop piles of unwanted electrical appliances and gadgets being binned and recycle them instead.

More than 11 tonnes of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) was collected at ten schools which each had a pink skip for a week, allowing pupils, staff and local people to recycle everything from laptops to toasters.

Coombe Hill Infants and Junior School came top with 6.84kgs per head (4.7 tonnes overall), scooping the £500 first prize.

Castle Hill Primary won the £300 second prize with 3.58kgs per head (1.7 tonnes) and Christ Church New Malden CofE Primary claimed the £200 third prize with a 2.38kgs per head (1.1 tonnes).

Kingston Council and its waste contractors Veolia joined forces with electronic waste recyclers Sweeep Kuusakoski and DHL Envirosolutions to promote the campaign to tackle the growing amount of WEEE going to costly landfill.

Janet Berry, Coombe Hill Infants headteacher, said:
“At Coombe Hill Infants we are committed to teaching our children to care for and preserve our world for ourselves and future generations. Through green songs, science (planting, growing, harvesting), our partnership with Namayanga School in Malawi and initiatives like ‘Pencil Day’ we encourage an awareness of conservation, how precious our world is and our role as individuals and organisations in looking after it.”

Ying Cameron, Castle Hill Assistant Head, said:
“Children and Parents were very supportive of this initiative. We were still receiving electrical goods after the pink skip had left and had to ask the company for two additional visits!”
Tabitha White, Christ Church headteacher, said:
"The children took part enthusiastically, understanding the recycling message better than most adults, and we are delighted with our prize."
Councillor Andrea Craig, Kingston Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Youth and Adult Learning, said:
“Kids get recycling and the need to protect the environment better than many adults. It’s brilliant to see Kingston children and their schools greening up the borough, helping to spread the word about recycling electrical waste and being part of such a fantastic scheme.”

Amanda Hamley, Commercial Assistant at Sweeep Kuusakoski, said:
“This scheme provided a great opportunity for schools to get involved in a project that was not only great for the environment, but also fun, with the added incentive to win cash prizes. It was an excellent way to highlight that it’s not just the larger electrical items that need recycling, but also the smaller ones such as kettles, toasters and hairdryers, that often end up in the household waste bin and ultimately landfill. Any way that we can reduce this happening can only be good.”

Clément Gaubert of Veolia said:
“The Veolia WEEE Scheme is delighted to work with Kingston Council on this initiative. We believe the competition has been a great success and has helped to raise awareness among young people about the benefits of recycling electrical waste.”