Recycling and recovery

No (play) time to waste!

SUEZ recycling and recovery UK supports local primary school with pre-loved materials for use at play time as part of an award-winning school improvement programme – Outdoor Play and Learn (OPAL).

Staff from SUEZ’ North Tyneside facility in North Shields designed and built two mini outdoor kitchens from wood for Christ Church Primary School Primary School in North Tyneside, with plans to also make a low-level stage in the playground out of pallets.

These are materials that would have traditionally been recycled and instead have found a new lease of life being reused for school play times by primary school children.

Charlotte Archibald, SUEZ Operations Manager said, “Our facilities can be a bit of a treasure trove of items that can be recycled or reused in different ways, and so when we heard about the school programme which encourages play time with lots of different materials, we knew we had to get involved. It’s been great to support the community in this way and we look forward to continuing to work together with Christ Church Primary School as well as others looking to do the same.”

The school is currently enrolled in OPAL – a mentor supported school improvement programme focused around sustainable and strategic quality of play opportunities where they use a range of materials for creative playtime. It is said to have positive impacts on development, behaviour, and importantly, mental health and wellbeing.

Mrs Bradford, Headteacher at Christ Church Primary School said, “Thank you to SUEZ for supporting us with our goal to create more sustainable creative play for our children. They have volunteered their time to make new items as well as providing us with our own materials to work with and the children have been thrilled with everything so far!”

Ingrid Wilkinson, Director of OPAL North East, is delighted to be working in partnership with SUEZ and recognises the valuable impact that reusable items can bring to schools. She said, “A lot of schools on their OPAL journey struggle to source loose parts and creative resources which to many businesses are of no use. We have hundreds of schools who would welcome end of line and reusable products which can become an aladdin's cave for children. SUEZ have been fantastic in not only providing resources, but staff have also been volunteering to support the school grounds development plan.”

The SUEZ team also built a storage container for the school’s own wood and supplies for their ongoing project, alongside donating a range of open-ended materials like clean tyres, bikes, scooters, a guitar, and even a ships wheel!