London’s waste wows over 500 visitors

Over 500 people came along to experience a fun family day out at Southwark’s recycling and waste management facility, run by Veolia Environmental Services in partnership with Southwark Council.

The event, which took place as part of Open House Weekend invited visitors to take a tour inside the facility to learn all about how recyclables are sorted and the innovative way that Veolia deals with black bag waste at its first Mechanical Biological Treatment Facility in the UK.

Other attractions included a display of the vehicles used onsite, with a 360 JCB impressively showing its agility by shooting footballs inside a bin, there was also a recycling bales display, a bouncy castle, face painting and the interactive Recycling Discovery Centre welcomed children and adults to learn about recycling materials and where they come from.

Another popular attraction was the hawk and owl display, from the pest control experts used on site, which amazed the crowds as everyone was able to get close to these magnificent birds of prey and learn all about them.

As part of the day everyone was given the opportunity to win a day trip to Paris for two and have lunch at the Eiffel Tower, this raised over £200 for children’s charity Evelina. The lucky winner of the prize was Mr Fludger from Croydon.

Fabrice Bouchon, General Manager for Veolia Environmental Services in Southwark said: “What a fantastic day, it was great turn out and good to see everyone enjoying our tours of the facility as well as the other activities that took place on the day. We also offer tours and meeting space for local community groups and I would urge anyone who missed out this time to get in touch and arrange a visit.”

Cllr Barrie Hargrove, said: "As well as this being a fantastic opportunity for the community to see an extraordinary piece of engineering technology at work the tour of the plant also gives a greater understanding of how this vast facility turns Southwark's waste into useable resources and diverts the borough's refuse and old junk away from landfill. There's also a fun educational facility on site which helps children and adults learn more about the huge benefits effective recycling and waste management has on the environment."

Feedback from visitors of the event included, Richard Schofield from SE21 who stated “Recycling is the eighth wonder of the world! This is the least wasteful thing you can do at the weekend; this is for those who think they’ve seen everything!”

Simon Wood from SE15 said “A brilliant operation, wonderfully explained on the open day – and very few people know this plant is here!”

Mark Carter from SE15 said what he enjoyed most, “entering an amazing secret world”.