Northside Community Church in Borrowdale, just across from Sam Levy’s Village in Edinburgh Road, has a great recycling programme going on. It’s not just about waste management – it’s about teaching and training, awareness, creativity, and financial savings, too. Through Living Stones Nursery School their mission is to reach out to parents and families creating awareness about recycling, and it’s working well.
The recycling project is dedicated to the memory of Barbara Broadway – the wife of the chairman of the board – who was an avid proponent of the idea of recycling. When she sadly passed away the community thought it would be an apt and fitting tribute to her passion. And so from modest beginnings the project has continued to grow.
The nursery school currently caters for around 60 children from diverse walks of life. They also provide extra reading lessons for children from Vainona Junior School, as well as extra lessons for students from the senior school, so they are able to reach out to many different sections of the community.
The children in the nursery school are encouraged to learn about recycling first hand, and most of them pass on this learning to their parents. Just outside the nursery school are the four recycling bins for glass, paper, plastic and cans. The children are taught to collect their waste in the four different categories, and are delighted when their parents bring in their household waste for recycling. In fact, according to Sue Haley, the administrator for the school, the children are quite demanding and they have taken to reprimanding their parents for putting their waste in the wrong bin. It’s a case of the younger generation teaching their elders, and hopefully they will grow up to be more responsible and caring citizens.
Helen Davidson, owner of Refuse Collection Services, empties out the recycling bins on average about once a month. For a very modest fee the waste is sorted and sent on to the appropriate recycling industries. But much of the so called ‘trash’ is re-used in the school. Cardboard cereal boxes are flattened and the paper is used for art projects. Plastic bottles and spoons are used as toys for the children to play with in the sand pit. Old bottle tops are made into shakers and discarded toilet cistern floats become musical instruments. Old magazines and greeting cards are cut up to create artistic masterpieces. Egg boxes are magically transformed into sorting boxes or become homes for imaginary tortoises. Even crisp packets are used, becoming glitter and sparkles with a little help from a paper punch. Nothing goes to waste here and the only limit is the extent of the teachers’ creativity and imagination.
Organic waste is not collected – that goes into the compost heap at home. However members of the community do, from time to time, donate things like old clothes, blankets or baby goods like prams and cots. These are sent on to various missions and outreach programmes affiliated with the church. The church also supports widows and orphans, old age homes, and women prisoners, so whatever is contributed finds a grateful new owner. The waste bins are located within the church grounds, so it’s easy and safe to drop off your recyclables. Next time you’re clearing out your cupboards or sorting out unwanted goods, keep Northside in mind. Your trash could be someone else’s treasure.
For more information contact Northside Community Church and Living Stones Nursery School at 8 Edinburgh Road, Borrowdale, call 883230 or 883554 or email [email protected]
Image: Recycling bins at Living Stones Nursery School
Image Credit: Micheal Nott