AmeyCespa East News
• Education Centre Official Opening: Press Releases [17.02.2011]
Local Schoolchildren Give New Education Centre the Thumbs Up
Local schoolchildren helped to open a state of art Education Centre at Cambridgeshire’s flagship Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT) plant at Waterbeach.
The new Education Centre was given the official seal of approval by Councillor Tony Orgee, lead member for waste and recycling at Cambridgeshire County Council, at a formal opening event on Wednesday 16th February.
The new Centre was then put through its paces as its first visitors - a group of year 5 and 6 pupils from Wilburton Primary School – who made toy elephants from old plastic milk containers, planted tomato seeds in compost made from garden waste and saw how recyclable materials are sorted from their household waste.
The new Centre, which was built as part of the award winning Waste PFI contract between Cambridgeshire County Council and Donarbon, is based at Donarbon’s waste management park just north of Cambridge. It has been designed to make visits from local schools exciting and memorable and to encourage the county’s schoolchildren and local communities to recycle as much as possible and reduce the amount of waste we create. Schools and colleges throughout Cambridgeshire can arrange visits for pupils of any age from 6 yrs old upwards free of charge, and adult groups can also come and look round the recycling site.
Donarbon have been taking visitors around the plant since it opened in 2009 and their innovative work with pupils has already received national acclaim by being awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge in May last year.
The new Education Centre offers even more innovative activities and lots of new information on recycling and waste reduction.
The Centre is located so that it overlooks the workings of the huge MBT plant which takes mixed rubbish from all Cambridgeshire’s households and extracts recyclable material before composting the remainder, greatly reducing the amount of waste going to landfill.
The internal installations within the Centre have been designed and built by the national waste and environmental education Community Interest Company, WasteBuster, who have a portfolio of ground breaking education centres around the UK. They had a design brief to make the children’s visit more fun and their learning experiences more meaningful, so that they not only remember the ‘reduce, reuse, repair, recycle’ message, but encourage their parents to do so too.
Officers from Cambridgeshire County Council and Donarbon also worked hard with WasteBuster to keep the environmental impact of the project to an absolute minimum. This included the choice of materials used and sourcing materials particularly reused materials, and WasteBuster reduced any mileage associated with the work as much as possible.
Councillor Tony Orgee, lead member for waste and recycling at Cambridgeshire County Council, said: “Even in this time of unprecedented financial pressures, we need to keep encouraging people to recycle as much as possible and reduce the amount of rubbish being thrown away. The education centre will encourage our next generation to do more to reduce their waste and recycle. Not only does recycling help save the environment but it also makes financial sense, massively reducing the amount of taxpayers’ money we would have to spend on landfilling. This new education centre will make a real difference over the next 28 years.”
Karen Brenchley, the education centre manager at Donarbon, said: “We have already had over 2,000 visitors to the education centre and the rest of the Waterbeach Waste Management Park since the MBT plant opened in November 2009. School pupils of all ages, as well as university students and adults from a wide range of community, voluntary and business groups, have come to learn more about what happens to their waste and why we need to continue to promote waste reduction, reuse and recycling. The improvements to the Education Centre will help create a more exciting experience for school pupils in particular and enable us to give out even more information of the benefits of the waste treatment process here and possible future developments”.
Katy Newnham, Director of WasteBuster Community Interest Company, said; “We were really pleased to have won the contract with Donarbon to fit-out the education centre at Waterbeach. The design brief from the County Council and Donarbon was very challenging, but we feel we have created a number of spaces where children can learn creatively and be inspired to take an environmental message home with them. We have used a very wide range of recycled and reused materials for the installations and pioneered the use of an environmentally friendly insulation board as print display material”.
The Education Centre is open for free bookings from any school, college or adult group in Cambridgeshire and provides an amazing learning environment for community groups and schoolchildren to see what happens to waste in Cambridgeshire. To arrange a visit or find out more information contact Karen Brenchley or Mike Freed by telephone 01223 815490; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit the Donarbon website education zone at http://www.donarbon.com/education-centre
1. For more information contact Mark Shelton, Waste Promotions Manager at Donarbon, 01223 815467 or e-mail email@example.com orSimon Lacey, Communications and Media Manager, Cambridgeshire County Council, tel. 01223 712547, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org