The Brigade’s lieutenant, Brian Guilloud, wanted to encourage the youngsters to understand why recycling is so important – not just to their own environment in and around Slough – but also to the global safety of Planet Earth.
He contacted the local experts at Colnbrook – and asked representatives from Grundon and Lakeside to talk to the Boys Brigade – which is based at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Slough.
First up was Grundon’s marketing & communications manager, Anthony Foxlee-Brown who explained how Grundon helps transform waste and recycle it in to new products.
Foxlee-Brown said: “It’s always exciting when people, no matter how young or old they are, suddenly realise that what they – and their families and friends do – can make a real difference – not just to their local area, but also to the whole world.
“Many of the boys had seen our bright blue Grundon lorries picking up waste – but didn’t really know what we did with it all – or the difference between rubbish and recycling. Hopefully they do now – and know exactly what to put in what bin.”
Jayden Bruintjies added: “Anthony told us that in Britain we produce 342 million tonnes of rubbish a year – that’s the same weight as 1.9 million blue whales – or 760,000 jumbo jets – that’s amazing.
“He asked us all to become “recycling champions” – so now we are going to tell everyone – our mums and dads, our friends and neighbours – that if we all put our unwanted paper, cards, cans, plastic bottles and glass in to the right recycling bins – it can all be used to make new things. Who even knew that 25 plastic bottles could be used to make one new fleece jacket?
“If we recycle aluminium cans, we don’t have to chop down tropical rain forests to dig aluminium out of the ground. If we recycle one glass bottle or jar, we can save enough energy to run a Nintendo Wii for five hours!”
Danny Coulston, the operations director of the Lakeside Energy from Waste facility, who has worked in Colnbrook since before the building was opened by Prince Philip in 2010, explained: “At the Lakeside energy from waste plant, we take all the rubbish that can’t be recycled – and turn it in to energy. This means we don’t have to burn other rare resources the world is running out of – like coal, gas or oil.
“We make more than enough green electricity for our own needs. This means we can put the rest back in to the National Grid – so the local pylons and cables can send it to all the houses in Slough – about 56,000 homes.”
As well as listening to the speakers – and asking questions – the boys also played some games where they sorted different types of rubbish into piles that could – and couldn’t – be recycled.
Van Kessel added: “I was amazed to learn how much of the rubbish we all make in our homes can actually be recycled – and that new things can be made from it. It was even more amazing that everything that can’t be recycled can be turned into energy, so we don’t need to mine coal or get gas and oil from places a long way away.”
Guilloud summed up the evening by saying: “We want all our boys to understand the world they live in – as well as helping to make a real contribution to improving the local quality of life. It’s important they recognise that what they do – or don’t do – with their rubbish has a knock on effect across not only Slough, but also the rest of the world – not just now but for many years to come.
“The speakers from Grundon and LKS really brought the whole business of waste, recycling and sustainability to life – in a way I think the boys will remember for a very long time”.