20 June 2012

Environment-conscious pupils at Wilby Primary School have been rewarded for their recycling efforts after collecting together unwanted electronic equipment.

Northamptonshire Waste Education Team, a partnership between the county council and the borough and district councils worked with the European Recycling Platform (ERP) to collect the electronic equipment free of charge from school premises across the county.

Items including computers, televisions, mobile phones and microwaves, much of which was brought in from pupils’ own homes, was collected as part of National Recycle Week.

The pupils won £100 in Amazon vouchers, courtesy of ERP, after collecting more items per pupil than the other 30 schools which took part.

Cllr Ben Smith, county council cabinet member for environment, said: “Rapidly evolving technology and our appetite to consume it means that electronic waste is the fastest growing source of waste in the UK.

“As a result we decided to get involved with this campaign and I’m delighted with the response from our schools.

“It’s absolutely essential that we reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and although we’re making huge progress with this as a county it’s important we keep up the good work.”

Cllr Chris Millar, chairman of the Northamptonshire Waste Partnership, representing the county council and all the district and borough councils in Northamptonshire, said: “It is great to be promoting electrical and electronic waste recycling in the county. This exciting campaign supports the partnership’s on-going commitment to diverting waste from landfills and making the environment cleaner.”

Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. With more than one million tonnes of electronic goods sold every year nationally, only about a third is recycled.

The materials used to make electronic goods are valuable and can be used to make new products.

Computer keyboards contain plastic which can used to produce other goods, while mobile phones contain gold which can be made into jewellery.

Another example is with a domestic iron, which contains enough steel to produce 13 steel cans.