Waste Not Want Not: City firm embarks on innovative recycling scheme to help African schools
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Mon 13 Aug 12 @ 10:22
(L-R): Lorraine Higgins, international school partnership co-ordinator at Scotia Aid, City Building’s Campbell Blades and Nadine Ali, international school partnership assistant at Scotia Aid.
It looks like being the ultimate form of recycling. Loos, taps, pipes and sinks are among some of the items from the refurbishment of three Glasgow schools that a leading construction firm has donated to help primary schools in West Africa.
City Building - Glasgow City Council's arms-length construction company - is currently undertaking refurbishment work at St Joseph's, Kelburn and Thornwood Primary Schools.
Campbell Blades - a member of the company's mechanical services team undertaking the work - didn't want to see the sanitary-ware go to waste and decided to see what he could do with it.
He was familiar with the work of Scotia Aid - Sierra Leone, a Scotland-based charity which helps schools in the West African state improve the education and learning opportunities of children and young people.
The removed sanitary-ware from the toilets at all three schools will be thoroughly cleaned up and shipped to Sierra Leone in August before being installed in a boys and girls school in the town of Kabala in the Northern Province.
As many schoolteachers in Sierra Leone travel long distances to get to work, some of the items will also be used in the staff living quarters.
Cllr Paul Carey, chair of City Building, said: "Helping to build sustainable communities is a key focus of what City Building delivers in Scotland so we're delighted to have the opportunity to do this in West Africa."
Blades said: "There is usually a lot that can be recycled when undertaking a refurbishment. We try to send as little to landfill as we can by offering anything that is in good condition and can be used again to local community projects in Scotland.
"I'm glad to see items that may have gone to waste get a new life in a place where they will be needed. We hope they make a real difference to the staff and children at the schools."
Lorraine Higgins, international school partnership co-ordinator at Scotia Aid, said: "We communicate closely with our colleagues in Sierra Leone to make sure we only source what is needed, when it is needed. The donations from City Building have come at a time when we are in desperate need of items for the primary schools we are developing.
"Through its networks, City Building has also helped us to find a number of other items that have already been sent over. We're very grateful for their support."
In addition to the donated sanitary ware, City Building has helped the charity source items from desks to gym equipment from Ruchill, St Cuthbert's, Westercommon and Craigholme Primary Schools as well as Springburn Nursery School.
City Building received a prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development in recognition of its social and environmental work in April this year.
For more information on Scotia Aid - Sierra Leone, please visit: www.scotiaaid-sierraleone.org.uk or call 01698 845850.