One enthusiastic parent took to Twitter to ask for a glass recycling bank to be provided on the school premises. A discussion with Doncaster’s Plant Director James Grant and Andrew Scrivener in UK Procurement followed, and glass collection company, URM UK Ltd, agreed to put two mixed glass bottle banks in the school’s grounds, to allow parents and children to recycle their empty glass bottles and jars as part of their daily journey to school.
The banks were installed in November 2019, and we heard in July (eight months later) that they were almost full. When URM collected the two mixed banks, they gave an estimated combined uplift of 1.12 tonnes of glass which equates to a saving of 650 tonnes of CO₂.
Prior to the banks being installed at the school, local families reported that they didn’t have easy access to glass recycling. As a result, many families attending the school were previously disposing of their empty glass in their general waste.
Dana Campbell, the Parklands parent who initiated the idea, says:
“We never recycled glass before the bottle banks were installed at Parklands. The nearest glass banks were at a supermarket on the other side of a busy road and as I don’t drive, it was too dangerous to go with three children.
“Now we save all our empty glass and recycle it. Before Covid, we used to bag it up and take it to school with us, but because I now have to take each of my children to different school entrances, it’s not practical to recycle at the same time. So now we save it up and recycle our glass once a month. We either carry it or take it on our pull-trolley. It feels great to recycle so much!
“Our kids really love it and it’s made glass recycling a natural thing to do: my 5-year old often says ‘Am I going to put this in the glass box outside?’.
“Lots of other families recycle glass now, and the kids are always helping – it’s been a brilliant addition to the community.”
As a thank you for collecting the glass, and successfully diverting over a tonne of glass from landfill, Ardagh Group is providing the primary school with a supply of books for their popular Reading Vending Machine.
This has been a great initiative, showing how a local business can forge really positive relationships with the community and encourage recycling from a young age.