Recycling centre trip for Barnstaple schoolchildren

Joseph Bulmer

A group of local school children have taken a bus tour with a difference, to see first hand the importance of recycling.

North Devon Council has hosted the first educational visit of its new recycling centre, giving school children the opportunity to see what happens to their household recycling.

Fourteen pupils from Ashleigh Primary School in Barnstaple visited the council’s recycling centre at Brynsworthy, which handles all of North Devon’s household recycling. On average 650-750 tonnes of paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and metal is brought into the centre each month.

The building was designed with an education room and viewing platform to allow schools and other community groups to learn about recycling, and to see the recycling plant in action in total safety.

Waste and Recycling Officer Lesley Isaac said: “It was a real pleasure to take the first school group around the centre – they really enjoyed themselves. I hope this is the first visit of many – it’s an excellent way of teaching children to be more aware of waste and how important it is to recycle.”

Head teacher, Mark Henderson, said: “The eco club children thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the recycling centre. They were inspired to get everyone at the school to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

The centre’s recycling room is vast and made quite an impact on the children. From the viewing platform you can see piles of sorted bottles and tins and the machines that are used to crush them into neat bricks before being stacked in piles ready to be moved on and made into something new.

Lead Member for Waste and Recycling Councillor, Paul Yabsley, said: “We hope these school groups find the tours enjoyable, but above all we hope they take what they have learnt home with them and share it with the family. North Devon has a 43 per cent recycling rate but we want this to be higher - education plays a major part in achieving this.”

If your school would like to visit, contact Lesley Isaac on 01271 318517 or email