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Points mean prizes in the fight to protect the environment

TODAY the Observer launches a campaign to improve the environment - and earn Hyndburn's schools £25,000-worth of valuable equipment.

MERVYN KAY ... enthusiastic support
MERVYN KAY ... enthusiastic support

TODAY the Observer launches a campaign to improve the environment - and earn Hyndburn's schools £25,000-worth of valuable equipment.

The basis of the imaginative and exciting scheme is that pupils ask friends, family and neighbours to pledge to support the council's new recycling scheme which is launched this month. These pledges are translated into points which in turn can be used by their schools to buy goods from a catalogue.

The Waste Watching for Schools campaign, being run in conjunction with Hyndburn Council, had a successful launch at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel, Clayton-le-Moors, on Tues-day.

Headteachers and their representatives from all over the borough were told how the scheme will work to the benefit of their schools, the local community and the environment.

Campaign co-ordinator Neil Mavers said: "There was a very enthusiastic response from the schools. All those who attended the meeting signed up there and then - a 100 per cent success rate. I am confident those schools which have not yet joined will do so when they fully appreciate the benefits it will bring.''

Observer Editor Mervyn Kay said: "We are delighted to lend our full support to the campaign. It's an imaginative way of involving young people in recycling and preserving the environment for generations to come.''

Councillor Tim O'Kane, Cabinet portfolio holder for the environment, said: "I welcome this campaign which will harness the natural enthusiasm many children have for saving the environment in order to encourage their families to recycle more and to win prizes for their schools.''

Hyndburn's Chief Env-ironmental Services Officer Steve Todd said: "This will provide added impetus to our recycling scheme and can only be of benefit to all concerned.''

  • Every week more than two million tonnes of domestic rubbish in Britain is sent to landfill sites - basically big holes in the ground which are covered over when they get full. This is harmful to the environment and uneconomic - and we're running out of places where they can be situated. The Government has now set recycling targets for all local authorities.

Hyndburn currently collects 31,000 tonnes of domestic waste a year, of which only six per cent can be recycled. It has been told to increase the amount of waste it recycles to 12 per cent before 2004 and 18 per cent by 2006.

  • Our campaign is also supported by, one of the UK's leading Internet retailers of IT and technology products, and Rethink Rubbish, operated by the National Waste Awareness Initiative involving many of Britain's leading retailers and the Lancashire Waste Partnership.


1. Schools will hand out pledge forms to pupils who want to take part in the scheme.

2. Pupils will ask friends, neighbours and family to sign the forms promising to take part in the council's recycling scheme which involves sorting out tins, cans, newspapers and other recyclable waste in special containers.

3. Their pre-sorted rubbish will be collected and weighed, and will count towards a monthly total of waste that can be recycled.

4. This figure will be translated into reward points shared between schools in proportion to the number of successful pledges. These figures will be adjusted to take into account the relative size of their schools.

5. Lists of points gained by each school will appear in the Observer every month so everyone can keep track of the campaign's progress.

6. Points make prizes. As the scheme goes on schools will be able to cash in their points to buy valuable equipment. They can buy something each month or allow their points to accumulate for a bigger prize at the end of the year.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist