Youngsters give a lesson in recycling

The equivalent weight of 32 double decker buses of material has been saved from landfill thanks to the effort of Ealing schools.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz recycling food waste with pupils from Wood End Junior School

More than 260 tonnes of food waste and cardboard, the equivalent of 32 double decker buses, has been saved from landfill sites thanks to Ealing Council’s award-winning Schools Recycling scheme.

The scheme, which launched in November 2009, gives environmentally conscious youngsters the chance to recycle their wide range of materials and is one of the few in the country to collect biodegradable food waste and cardboard.

More schools and colleges than ever before are taking part with around 140 receiving free recycling collections of paper and cans and 60 recycling their food waste and cardboard. Another 20 schools are due to sign up to the food waste and cardboard collections by the summer.

The food waste is collected weekly and sent to an Anaerobic Digestion Unit. It produces a natural fertiliser for crops and the gas that is created is used to generate electricity.

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for Transport and the Environment, said: “I know our young people are some of the keenest recyclers in the borough. They care about the planet and want to be green, so its great to see so many of them getting involved.

“I want every school in Ealing to sign up to the food waste and cardboard collections. It is free to schools and is a great way to teach children about the crucial difference they can make to their environment.”

Pupils are also being encouraged to take these good habits home and help their parents to win £20,000 to improve their local neighbourhood through the Recycling Rewards scheme.

To get involved in the Schools Recycling scheme, contact Ealing Council customer services on 020 8825 6000 or email

More information is available about recycling and the Recycling Rewards scheme.