The Hawthorns School in Bletchingley, Surrey is proud to have achieved “Zero to Landfill” status, leading the way on sustainability in schools by minimising its environmental impact.
The drive to become Zero to Landfill is the culmination of an Eco Team project spanning several years, focused on the responsible disposal of waste at the School. For many years, pupils and staff alike have been separating waste and, as part of the service element of our curriculum, Year 7 pupils have emptied recycling bins around the School.
Two years ago, the pupil-led Eco Team decided more could be done. With the School’s extensive facilities having considerable use by the local community out of school hours, litter around high traffic areas could sometimes be unsightly. By participating in weekly litter picks and undertaking regular bin audits the Eco Team were able to determine the optimum location for new recycling and general waste bins. The resultant shift to an even higher proportion of waste being recycled led the Team to question where the general waste was disposed of and to investigate more sustainable options.
Camilla Townley, Head of Sustainability said: ‘The Eco Team challenged the Head of Estates to find a disposal service that used general waste to generate electricity. Having met with a variety of suppliers to understand their offerings The Hawthorns School were delighted to gain Zero to Landfill status at the end of last year.’
Headmaster, Adrian Floyd commented: ‘Here at The Hawthorns School we are committed to supporting our pupils in their desire to protect the natural world, all the time working to minimise the impact of the School on the environment. Our Outdoor Learning programme is embedded within our curriculum, making full use of the 35 acres of grounds and woodlands from which the School benefits. Through these experiences in the outdoors, from a very young age children connect with the natural world and develop a desire to protect it.’
The success of this project has inspired the children to look further at electricity use around the School. Pupils are now challenging the School to look at ways of reducing electricity consumption and the Head of Estates is working to understand the financial viability of installing solar panels on our Sports Centre roof to heat the onsite swimming pool.