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Crossrail works with schools in pioneering food recycling on stations

By Philippa Siguencia Winnings

Crossrail's pioneering Young Crossrail Education Programme is cutting new ground with an eco-challenge to students. Millfields Community School and Hackney Free and Parochial School are taking up the challenge by exploring how food waste can be recycled. Up to a third of domestic waste is perishable (bio-degradable).

On 6 February 2008, 24 primary and secondary students started to examine ways of recycling food waste on Crossrail stations in the future. They are looking at various methods, including the use of bokashi bins - portable composters that use a natural bran-based activator to break down waste into rich soil compost.

The project follows a visit to the schools by Crossrail Executive Chairman Douglas Oakervee OBE, as part of the Prince's Trust 'Seeing is Believing' scheme, run by BITC (Business In The Community). He led a group of business executives on a visit recently to the two schools to see what help could be given to the schools in their role in the local community.

'We visited the two schools and as part of our commitment as a company, we have devised this project to help the young people in understanding how to improve their environment,' said Mr Oakervee.

'We are looking at helping them to explore alternative forms of energy such as a wind turbine.

'Our education programme is innovative, continuing to lead the way in bridging the gap between school and business. We will be advising the older children in the eco-school scheme on the new Construction and Built Environment (CBE) Diploma and the Engineering Diploma, which we are keen to support.'

The two schools in Hackney are part of the 'eco-schools' Programme, an international group of schools working on projects that teach students to take responsibility for the future of their environment.

Young Crossrail has been further promoting the eco-schools programme within the 750 schools that it is involved with along the Crossrail route by encouraging them to become eco-schools.

The experiences of two students involved in eco-projects in their schools are featured in the latest edition of the Link, Young Crossrail's own newsletter, which is sent to all schools along the route. Please contact Philippa Siguencia Winnings through the Crossrail helpdesk 0845 602 3813/ e-mail philippasiguenciawinnings@crossrail.co.uk if you would like to receive a copy.

Since 2003 the Crossrail Education Programme has been running various events designed to involve young people in the project. The activities are designed to make them aware of the issues involved in large infrastructure projects. They are also designed to support student's National Curriculum studies and teacher's delivery of Government initiatives such as Gifted and Talented projects and the Literacy Strategy.

For further information please contact the 24 hour, seven day a week helpline on 0345 602 3813

Media contact Crossrail Press Office: 020 3229 9552