You are here : News > News
Competition winners get behind the scenes tour of recycling facility

Competition winners get behind the scenes tour of recycling facility

Posted on 1 July 2019

Pupils from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Bognor Regis have been behind the scenes to see what happens to recycling collected from homes in West Sussex.

Members of the School Council and Religious Education Council visited the Materials Recycling Facility in Ford, which is run by Viridor on behalf of West Sussex County Council.

The all-expenses paid trip was organised after the school won a competition earlier this year as part of Green Month – a County Council initiative with Spirit FM designed to raise awareness of environmental issues.

The key stage 2 pupils got to head out to the viewing platform which sits above the facility’s specialist machinery to see first-hand how recycling is sorted, bunkered and baled ready to be made into new products.

They took part in a quiz to learn which items can or can’t go into a recycling bin, and were told why it is so important to try to reduce or reuse as well as recycle.

They also got to watch a Wastebuster video explaining how waste is created and the process waste goes through from the home to being recycled into new items.

Following the visit one pupil said: “I never knew how they sorted all the recycling – I’m going to make sure that I never throw out a yogurt pot again!”

Following the visit a parent wrote to say: “What a valuable and inspiring time my daughter had at the Ford Recycling Centre today. The visit has really motivated her to look after our world and think about being responsible with plastic and waste in general. It would be great if all children could experience it in the future.”

The pupils have been investigating how to reduce the school’s water consumption this year, and have been weighing food waste bins at school and encouraged their friends to ask for smaller portions and not waste so much food.

They also organised a ‘Day for the Earth’ in March which involved using less electricity, walking to school and wasting less paper.

Head teacher Peter Edgington said: “It is so important for children to understand how important it is to reduce, reuse and recycle. The children saw all the materials first hand today and realised how important recycling is to the future of the planet.”

The trip comes as the County Council has launched the West Sussex Climate Pledge, designed to help people make small changes which collectively will reduce the impact of climate change. You can find out more at

Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment said: “I was delighted to meet the pupils and so encouraged to see their genuine interest in how they can help us to recycle more and waste less.”

Schools in West Sussex can arrange visits to the Ford Materials Recycling Facility by emailing or visiting

Find out more about recycling in West Sussex at