Taunton School is proud to be championing a ‘Zero to Landfill’ initiative, leading the way on sustainability in schools by minimising its environmental impact. The School will ensure that all waste collected is processed for recycling, with nothing ending up in landfill. They are the first school in Somerset to engage in such a project with Exeter-based Devon Contract Waste (DCW) and have ambitions to be the greenest school in Somerset.
Approximately six tonnes of dry mixed recycling, which includes plastic, cardboard and paper, is collected for processing each month from Taunton School. With a ban on glass already in place on school premises, and plans to add food and confidential waste to its waste programme, Taunton School is focused on becoming more sustainable.
Plastic waste is a topical issue with concerns about its effect on the natural environment at an all-time high, especially in light of the pioneering BBC programme Blue Planet 2. Just recently, more than 400kg of plastic waste was washed up on the Somerset coastline near Bridgwater Bay. The Government has set out plans to eradicate all avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042, but Taunton School are making changes right now. The students are embracing the school’s green commitment and the Prep School already has a well-established Eco Leaders group who promote sustainability and aim to raise awareness of the intrinsic link with nature and our surroundings.
Lee Glaser, Taunton School Headmaster said: “Being a responsible and caring member of our wider community is a key element of our school values and managing our waste correctly plays a big part. Having taken steps to reduce the amount of waste we produce on site, Zero to Landfill is an ideal solution to minimise our reliance on landfill and continue our ongoing commitment. We educate children to embrace a global outlook, and doing our bit to safeguard the planet for their future is something we take seriously.”
Cllr Patrick Berry, Executive Councillor for Environmental Services at Taunton Deane Borough Council, said: “I am very impressed with the commitment being made by Taunton School. It sends a clear message to the students about the importance of being responsible with your waste and caring for the environment, and sets a wonderful example for others to follow.”
Simon Almond, managing director at Devon Contract Waste commented: “Devon Contract Waste ensures that all materials that can be recycled, are, with residual waste processed to generate energy. Moving to our Zero to Landfill service is a natural extension of the great work Taunton School has already undertaken and we’re proud to support the school on its sustainability journey.”
Henry Collins, a Year 8 Eco Leader said: “I think it is great that we are the first school to do this and we can show other schools how to go to zero to landfill. It is sad what happens to animals when they get caught up in plastic and we should all think about the consequences when we throw things away.”
Daisy Stout, an Eco Leader also in Year 8, said: “I hope it will encourage others to do the same and then we will have a healthier world.”
Devon Contract Waste is a leading provider of commercial waste management services in Devon and bordering areas of Cornwall and Somerset. All waste is recycled, for example, plastics are in the UK are turned into new products such as carrier bags and bin liners, but also fleeces, umbrellas, children’s toys and car bumpers.
Devon Contract Waste collects mixed waste from its clients in a single vehicle, reducing the number of journeys made and minimising its CO2 emissions. Each time a bin is emptied, around 3.04kg of CO2 is emitted, so collecting waste in a single bin rather than separating it into different containers reduces CO2 emissions.