A north Northumberland first school finished second in a nationwide recycling competition after saving thousands of coffee packets from landfill.
Wooler First School were runners-up in the Coffee Break Champions Collection contest, winning a recycled bench made from coffee-packaging waste, a year’s supply of Kenco products and 3,000 TerraCycle charity points (worth £30) after saving 18,120 pieces of coffee packaging during the contest, which ran from March to August.
The school has been collecting with TerraCycle on the Coffee Packaging Brigade since 2012, and as well as individual collectors they have built up a local network of coffee shops including Sainsbury’s, Costa, Greggs and Baileys in Alnwick, all the local cafés and coffee shops in Wooler and Pilgrims Coffee Shop on Holy Island.
The combined commitment of the local community and the school’s collectors has resulted in 106,954 units of waste being saved from landfill across the various TerraCycle Brigades the school collect on, raising an astonishing £3,164.53 for projects within and around the school.
The school also won the McVitie’s Biscuit Wrapper Round-Up contest in 2013 and finished runners-up in the McVitie’s Wrapper to Riches contest in July 2014.
Despite these amazing achievements, Wooler First School is not finished yet and is asking the local community to get behind them once again in a new recycling contest, this time for a completely new type of waste that the school has signed up to recycle.
The school is taking part in the Febreze Freshness Rewards Contest on the newly-launched Air and Home Care Brigade which enables any brand of plastic air fresheners and plug-in refills, air and home care product trigger heads, pumps and caps, flexible home cleaning wipe packs to be recycled for the first time. This contest runs until the end of April next year with an overall prize fund of £5,000 and a top prize of £1,000.
Mike Deane-Hall, the new headteacher of Wooler First and Glendale Middle schools, said: “This is a fantastic achievement for the school and the local community and reflects all the hard work of the children, volunteers and staff who have made recycling such a success here in Wooler.
“We are looking forward to even more recycling success in the coming months as the work of the first school community is expanded to encompass the middle school here in Wooler as part of a closer working relationship between the two schools.”
Dave Sage, from Wooler First School’s eco-committee, added: “Though disappointed to not have won the contest, Wooler First School is delighted to have finished runners-up in the Coffee Break Champions Collection Contest.
“We are thrilled about the enthusiasm with which the school and the wider local community are collecting their waste. We would like to thank all the local people who continue to help with our collections and are spreading the recycling message locally.
“We hope that local people will continue to help us with our collections and attempts to win the Febreze Freshness Rewards Contest contest by dropping off any brand of plastic air fresheners and plug-in refills, air and home care product trigger heads, pumps and caps, flexible home cleaning wipe packs.
“They can do so at our 24/7 collection box outside the Cheviot Centre or at one of the many public drop-off points we now administrate across Wooler, Berwick, Alnwick, Holy Island, Hadston and Heatherslaw – see www.recyclewooler.org.uk to find your closest drop-off point.
“Any brand of writing instruments and non-savory biscuit wrappers are also accepted, in addition to the many other brigades we collect on.”