The Council's Schools Battery Recycling Competition is launched at Williamstown Primary School
School pupils in Rhondda Cynon Taf are 'positively charged' about an exciting new initiative aimed at increasing battery recycling rates across the County Borough.
The Council, in partnership with Amgen Cymru and ERP Recycling, has launched its Schools’ Battery Recycling Competition, aimed at making it easier for pupils, staff and parents to recycle their batteries and prevent them from going to landfill.
The scheme, launched at Williamstown Primary School, will see 47 Primary and secondary schools from across the county borough competing to see how many batteries they can collect. The schools collecting the most batteries will win prizes at the end of the school year.
Pupils have until the end of June to gather up all of their used domestic batteries and take them into school, where they will be collected and recycled.
The top three primary or secondary schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf that recycle the most batteries will be awarded £250, £150, and £100 respectively.
Cllr Andrew Morgan, Cabinet Member for Frontline Services, said: “We all have an important part to play in making Rhondda Cynon Taf a cleaner and more environmentally-friendly place to live, to work and to play.
“Our recycling rates for the whole County Borough are extremely encouraging and we now have to build upon this to ensure we are not just recycling those substances which are easy to recycle - and not just recycling at home.
“We can also recycle at school as well as at work, which is why our Schools’ Battery Recycling Competition is so important to us.
“We are committed to doing all we can to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill and will continue to invest for the future to ensure we have the schemes, high-quality vehicles and easy-to-use facilities that people rely upon to recycle.
“The Council is committed to making our County Borough a pioneer in recycling and waste management.”
Cllr Eudine Hanagan, Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said: “It is encouraging to see our children so enthused about this initiative to recycle and prevent batteries from going to landfill. By adopting green attitudes and being conscious about waste at such a young age, these pupils are doing all they can to conserve resources, save energy and protect their environment.
“We all have a duty to educate and inform them about the safe and sustainable disposal of waste. This Schools’ Battery Recycling Competition is an easy and fun way to do this.”
The UK uses more than 620 million household batteries every year - and by recycling batteries, everyone is able to help their environment by combating waste and cutting costs in line with the country’s ambition to recycle 70 per cent of its waste by 2025.
More people than ever before are committed to recycling in Rhondda Cynon Taf. Earlier this year the Council announced that more than 1,000 tonnes of waste was recycled from homes the week after Christmas 2013 - a recycling record for the County Borough.
And in January alone, more than 800 tonnes of food waste was also collected - more than double the figure of the previous year.
Now the focus is turned to batteries, with a pioneering initiative being spread out around schools in the hope that younger generations will embrace the opportunity of following in the footsteps of their parents and grandparents.
Depositing domestic batteries in landfill is harmful to the environment and to us. As the batteries break down they leak heavy metals and toxic chemicals into the land, causing soil contamination and water pollution.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Schools’ Battery Recycling Competition is a fun, accessible and easy way for students to recycle domestic batteries and to make a difference.
As well as recycling batteries, green schools in Rhondda Cynon Taf also recycle paper, food and plastics as part of the Eco-Schools Green Flag Awards Scheme.
Most types of batteries can be recycled - all AAA and AA cells, rechargeable batteries, button batteries, as well as mobile phone, laptop and powertool batteries.
Find out more about the Council’s recycling service For further details on the Schools' Battery Recycling Competition call 01685 870770.
Picture Special: Battery Recycling Competition launch at Williamstown Primary School