On Saturday 16 September a staggering 1069 visitors attended the Southwark Integrated Waste Management Facility ‘Wonder Day’. The event, which is part of Open House London, gave a record number of visitors an insight into the fascinating journey that household waste and recycling takes to become green products and energy.
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’.
Cllr Ian Wingfield, cabinet member for environment and public realm, said: ‘I’m delighted that so many people came to Wonder Day this year. The facility is the best in London and this event both entertains and educates, making it a fabulous family day out.’
In addition to the tours of the plant, which is one of the most advanced recycling facilities in Europe, 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 day 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 is what visitors to the site had to say:
Laura Beal, ‘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, ‘Excellent learning programme, which actually encouraged me to recycle things more’