Schools can discover how Staffordshire turns waste into energy through new learning resource

With the launch of a new educational resource, schools across Staffordshire can discover how the county is driving down the amount of waste sent to landfill and using it to power thousands of homes in the county.
Veolia’s Light up Learning educational resource has been launched this week at Staffordshire’s Waste to Energy Recovery facility at Four Ashes. There will be programmes for young people of all ages from primary through to the final year at secondary school. In addition to using the classroom resource, students will also be able to take a tour of the facility in South Staffordshire. Officially opened in May 2014 by the Duke of Gloucester, it takes in non-recyclable household waste from across the southern half of Staffordshire and some neighbouring areas. The facility operates 24 hours a day, treating the waste to create low carbon electricity – enough to power 66,000 local homes. Staffordshire County Council commissioned the facility and invested £10million into the project. It was built and is operated by environmental firm Veolia.
The education resource, Light up Learning, covers a range of national curriculum subjects including maths (problem solving), geography (global environmental issues and sustainable development), English (presentations and interaction) and science (waste and recycling processes and classifying materials). Programmes can help to achieve different levels of the international Eco-Schools standard. It has been developed with education experts at Keele University.
Teachers can access the resource and find out more information at 
Staffordshire County Council’s learning and skills leader Ben Adams said: “The W2R facility has been up and running for over two years and has helped us to significantly reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill from 340,000 tonnes a year to just 5,000. It is generating enough power for 66,000 homes which is a huge amount. We want to be able to tell our story to thousands of young people, help them understand why waste reduction and renewable energies are important and also the science behind the processes. The resource pack ties in with the national curriculum and really brings those subjects to life, for example designing an eco-town. Students will be able to visit the facility and see waste being turned into energy, in addition to taking part in hands-on activities, before taking the learning back into the classroom. I’d urge schools to get in touch and make the most of this free learning resource which will broaden students’ understanding of a range of issues in a fun and interactive way.”
Steve Mitchell, Director of Veolia said; “This is a great opportunity for schools to further the knowledge and understanding of our future generations about green energies.  The educational resource also gives young people the chance to visit our state of the art facility in Four Ashes to see for themselves how we are turning waste into a resource"