An Every Can Counts recycling initiative at schools across South Lanarkshire has been recognised with a Scottish environmental award.
The initiative involved the installation of can crushers at all 17 of the education authority’s schools, has been rewarded with a gold standard – Scottish Green Apple Award.
As well as improved facilities, the project, which was funded by Zero Waste Scotland, saw education materials and classes on the importance of recycling given to the schools’ 18,000 staff and students.
It is hoped that the ongoing success of the scheme, which saw the authority reduce its monthly waste disposal costs while increasing recycling rates, will lead to it being adopted by more schools across Scotland.
Speaking about the ongoing success of the South Lanarkshire Schools recycling programme Karl Tullett, National Organiser for the Green Apple Awards, said: “The Every Can Counts and South Lanarkshire schools initiative offers a model to all schools throughout Scotland on the way to engage young people in recycling.”
David Hinshelwood, Support Services Manager at South Lanarkshire Council, said: “This latest recycling scheme has already proved a big success across South Lanarkshire schools. Not only have we been able to increase the amount of uncontaminated cans being recycled, but have achieved reductions in our monthly waste disposal costs.”
Jamie Cameron, Scottish Programme Manager for Every Can Counts, said: “The South Lanarkshire Schools drinks can recycling programme has been incredibly well received. This latest award is a testament to the passion of both the pupils and teachers who helped make the initiative a success. We’re now looking to speak to other education authorities to see how we can extend the programme across all Scottish schools.
Charlie Devine, Head of Resource Management at Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The Every Can Counts initiative has multiple benefits for every school at which it is implemented – not only does it represent a significant opportunity for schools to save money; it delivers a crucial message to all pupils as to why it’s so important to recycle.”
In total 20 can crushers were installed at all 17 South Lanarkshire schools. All of the drinks cans collected are processed and recycled by Motherwell-based social enterprise LAMH Recycle Ltd.
Every Can Counts is funded by the UK’s drinks can manufacturers, recyclers and fillers. In Scotland the programme receives additional funding from Zero Waste Scotland and soft drinks manufacturer A.G. Barr plc.
The programme aims to increase the number of drinks cans recycled, whether at work or whilst out and about, by providing practical advice and support, including free communication materials and help with finding a recycling collection partner.