SCHOOLCHILDREN and residents gathered to get a closer look at Copeland's new kerbside recycling scheme this week.
Copeland Council was showing off an example of its new recycling vehicles, which will collect five different materials from April. Paper, glass, card, plastic and cans/tins will be collected from the kerbside for more than 95 per cent of Copeland's householders.
The new scheme was being showcased at Whitehaven Market on Thursday, when children from Hensingham Primary School visited, and Egremont Market on Friday, when Bookwell pupils came along.
The youngsters found out all about the new scheme, and saw the recycling lorry in action with staff. They also did fun recycling themed activities and came away with a bag of gifts, including stationary made from recycled material.
Mark Stilwell, a teacher at Hensingham Primary School, said: "This was a great trip and the children really enjoyed it. The activities dovetailed with our curriculum work on materials, recycling and the environment. The children were very interested in the van itself and they will be looking out for the new ones in April."
Bookwell teacher Sarah Fawcett added: "The children thoroughly enjoyed themselves. It added to the school's ongoing work to encourage them to think about their environment, and every small step we can take to improve it."
When the scheme begins in April, the state-of-the-art recycling lorries will collect all five materials and store them separately, ensuring the best value when the materials are sold.
As well as hosting the school groups, staff answered the public's questions about the service and demonstrated how the materials will be collected and put into the vehicle.
Copeland's Portfolio Holder for Recycling, Coun Mark Holliday, said: "I'm delighted we had these youngsters with us to help promote the new kerbside recycling scheme. I know they have been learning about recycling and hopefully our waste staff were able to enthuse them even more about the benefits of recycling. They enjoyed having a look at our new lorry and they were very knowledgeable about what should be recycled and why."
Residents were also shown examples of the containers that will be used when the collections begin. There will be three differently-coloured boxes for glass, paper, and plastic/cans, plus a large weighted bag for card. There will be four new vehicles (expanded from the previous fleet of three) and an extra crew of three people.
For more information about the new service, visit www.copeland.gov.uk.