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Rubbish Success Story

Published: Wednesday, 9th September 2015

Thousands of school children have been learning first-hand about recycling and what happens to waste when we throw it away.

“It’s a Rubbish Adventure”, a joint year-long project between Shanks’ new waste treatment facility at Manvers in Rotherham and Magna Science Adventure Centre, lifted the lid on the tonnes of rubbish each household throws away every year.

Hands-on workshops held at Magna and at local schools were attended by over 3,500 seven to 11 year olds, over 1,500 families, and hundreds of teachers. They got the chance to use specially made conveyor belts, air blowers and electromagnets to separate the waste and look at how it can be turned into useful products.

Engineers from Shanks helped deliver the workshops and talked to children, teachers and parents about processes at the new facility which is revolutionising the treatment of household waste in South Yorkshire.

Shanks’ Community Education Liaison Officer, Abi Cox, said: “’It’s a Rubbish Adventure’ has been a joy to be involved with. Engineers from our BDR facility found the opportunity to meet the next generation of engineers engaging and rewarding. The kids were really interested to hear about what we do on site and it was fantastic to see them getting involved.

“If we can enthuse children and young people about making more from waste, they will spread the word to their friends and families and help pave the way for a greener future for everyone.”

Magna’s Education Manager, Stuart Ballard, said: “The project engineers and Magna staff had a fantastic time working together. Plus it was great to see thousands of school children and families enjoy themselves and learn at the same time. ‘It’s a Rubbish Adventure’ is just the sort of project we like to get involved in at Magna. It educates and inspires young people in a fun way. Who knows, some of them may even become engineers in the future.”

The project was supported by a grant of £28,000 from the Royal Academy of Engineering as part of a campaign to encourage budding engineers of the future.

The newly opened waste treatment facility at Manvers has been built by 3SE, a partnership between Shanks Group and Scottish and Southern Energy, on behalf of the Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham (BDR) Waste Partnership.

It will treat leftover household waste from the Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham and turn it into energy and useful products, rather than sending it to landfill. More than 40 new jobs have been created.

From this month (September), the ‘It’s a Rubbish Adventure’ workshop will be available to schools, free of charge, at the BDR Waste Treatment facility visitor centre. To book a session, contact