Top gadget recyclers rewarded during Climate WEEE-k

Caption: Vikki Law (Weee Link) and Councillor Mark Dobson present Ireland Wood 

PS headteacher Ian Blackburn and pupils Immanuel Nkomo (10), Chelsey Robinson (5) and Damian Robinson (9) with their gadget recycling reward.

Three schools in Leeds are celebrating having been named the city’s top gadget recyclers.

Cheques for the schools that have recycled the most electrical items have been presented at a special celebration during Climate Week.

Climate Week is the UK’s biggest environmental occasion with businesses, schools, charities and individuals taking part in activities that showcase practical solutions to environmental issues.

Pupils from thirty schools across the city have been collecting dud DVD players, random remote controls and conked-out cables in Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) banks placed in school grounds.

The council’s partner, Weee Link, collects the items to be broken down and recycled. Each term Weee Link reward the schools that have recycled the most with a cash prize to be invested in other green projects.

Climate Week and the prize-giving underlines the importance of recycling electronics – recycling gadgets saves significant energy and resources as it takes four times more energy to produce steel from raw iron ore than to produce it from recycled materials.

Horsforth Newlaithes primary school have retained their top spot and received a cheque for £500, having recycled 175kg of old electronic items. Westerton primary school received £200 for recycling 160kg of items, narrowly missing out on the second place prize of £300 which went to Ireland Wood primary school for recycling 168kg of items.

Much like bottle-banks, WEEE banks allow pupils, their families and school staff to get rid of their unwanted electrical items safely, ensuring the resources and materials they contain can be reused.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment and Vikki Law, scheme manager at Weee Link, were on hand to present the second place prize during a Climate Week-themed event at Ireland Wood primary school today.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“Yet again, the pupils from all the schools involved have out-done themselves, but special congratulations go to Horsforth Newlaithes, Ireland Wood and Westerton primary schools for recycling so much.

“Climate Week is a great opportunity for us to all consider our impact on the environment in our everyday lives. Placing the WEEE banks in playgrounds is an ideal way to let people recycle at a place where it’s most convenient for them and importantly, let them recycle things they might otherwise throw away.

“The WEEE banks in schools have been a great success so far and with the continuing element of competition, I’m sure other schools will be vying for the coveted top spots and prizes.”

Ian Blackburn, headteacher at Ireland Wood primary school, said:

“We’re delighted that the pupils, their families and staff got so involved and that their efforts have been recognised.

“The WEEE bank has been a real talking point and has given us many opportunities to discuss recycling and our impact on the environment.

“In discussion with the pupils we’ve invested the money in additional resources for our organic garden and chicken coop.”

Vikki Law, scheme manager at at Weee Link, said:

“We would like to thank all 30 schools that have chosen to take part in the scheme and promote Leeds as a trailblazer in electrical waste recycling.

“Congratulations to Horsforth Newlaithes, Ireland Wood and Westerton primary schools whose collections have exceeded our expectations and who have set an extremely high benchmark for WEEE recycling in schools.”

Throughout the autumn 2012 term all 30 schools with WEEE banks recycled a total of 2253kg of electrical items.

As well as electronics, a range of items can be recycled at the council's nine household waste sorting sites.

Notes to editors:

Items that can be placed in the WEEE banks include: battery operated toys, CD players, chargers, clocks and watches, computer keyboards, electrical DIY and gardening tools, DVD players, cables, electric toothbrushes, electric toys, hairdryers, hair straighteners, internet boxes, irons, kettles, phones, radios, remote controls, shavers, small electric fans, small kitchen appliances, toasters and video cameras.

The schools with WEEE banks are: Bramhope Primary, Bramley Primary, Broadgate Primary, Colton Primary, Cottingley Primary, Drighlington Primary, East Garforth Primary, Five Lanes Primary, Guiseley Infants, Guiseley School, Horsforth Newlaithes Primary, Ireland Wood Primary, Kippax North J and I School, Little London Primary, Meadowfield Primary, Morley Newlands Primary, Moortown Primary, Ninelands Primary, Otley the Whartons Primary, Lowtown Primary, Rawdon Littlemoor Primary, Rawdon St Peters Primary, Rothwell C of E Primary, Stanningley Primary, Swillington Primary, Templemoor High School, Thorner C of E Primary, Westerton Primary, Whitecote Primary and Yeadon Westfield Infants.

Currently over a third of all schools are registered with the Leeds sustainable schools framework working to improve their environmental performance across a range of areas including energy, waste, building, grounds and global links.

For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk