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Local school children learn how to help save the planet at the Lakeside (Colnbrook) Energy from Waste facility

19th July 2017

Local schoolchildren and their teachers are learning how to increase and improve recycling and energy efficiency in their schools and in their homes – by visiting the Lakeside Energy from Waste (EfW) facility in Colnbrook, near Slough.

The visits are very popular with Key Stage 2 Eco Groups and School Councils – as they support cross curricular topic work on recycling, energy and waste. The half day programme is designed to inspire and motivate both teachers and students.

Activities start by crossing the drawbridge to the Lakeside Education Centre, which floats like an island in the middle of a lake, surrounded by countryside. Here the groups participate in activities designed to help them sort their household rubbish more effectively – so only waste that can’t be recycled is sent to the EfW to be turned in to sustainable energy.

Charley Hall, the School Council Lead from Castleview School said of her visit,

“We all, staff included, have had a lovely and insightful morning. We are looking forward to going back to school and seeing what we can do better.”

The second part of the visit provides the opportunity for the students to dress up in safety gear – bright yellow jackets, goggles and hard hats and walk across to the control room to see the giant grabs in action. Each grab can hold upto 9 tonnes of non recyclable rubbish – approximately the weight of an adult Tyrannosaurus Rex! The grabs load the rubbish in to the burn chambers – where it is completely burned at about 1000°C – the same temperature as lava when it erupts from a volcano!

The entire visit is designed to open students’ and teachers’ eyes to real life applications of classroom science and maths – as well as managing the precious resources of the Earth.

Julia Garrett, Deputy Head Teacher of St Marys CE Primary school found that all her students really enjoyed the entire visit.

“Superb experience and information for the group – suitable for the youngest children and challenging for the oldest ones. Really interesting re local facilities too”.

Danny Coulston – the Operations Director for the Lakeside Energy from Waste facility – adds,

“Much of the non recyclable material we burn comes from Slough – so it’s really important that local residents sort their waste properly. If the schoolchildren who visit us understand why putting the right stuff in the right bin is so important, maybe their families will be encouraged to do this. This approach maximises recycling and makes sure only the right kind of waste is delivered to us, to turn in to enough sustainable energy to power 56,000 homes (roughly the size of Slough).”

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