Waste Minimisation


Focus 6:


Focus 7: Compost

P3C/H revived the composting area by pulling out weeds and trying to stir the old compost in order to bring it back to life. The next task is to sieve the compost into fine earth to be used in the school grounds.

This week every class will be issued a green caddy for pupils to collect their snack fruit peelings into. Our class has chosen the first compost monitor and every other volunteering class can follow suit. So far, everyone was very excited to take on their new responsibility for one week.



Focus 2: Reduce paper use

We made little announcement cards from upcycled ipad wallets to promote our Waste minimisation week.




Focus 2: Reduce paper use:

P3C/H worked out and shared with staff how much paper we use in photocopying per year and how much was spent. We created this beautiful and informative poster with a graph about how many sheets we have used last school year and working on estimating whether we can reduce the consumption further. Take a look at the quiz question on the poster as well!


Focus 3: Reusing Items

A huge Thank You to Mrs Harper and her amazing pupils in P4H for organising and leading the Hazlehead Book Swap as part of World Book Day.  The children thoroughly enjoyed taking in their old books in exchange for a new read, creating much excitement in our school.

One of the messages that the Eco Group wants to promote is the importance of reusing things that we no longer need in order to minimise excessive waste and the impact on the environment.  If you have items in your home that you no longer need, instead of throwing them out can yout hink of a more sustainable way of disposing them – for example donating them to charity.
















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On World Book Day, Thursday 5th March 2020, we will be hosting another whole school book swap day.  Last year was fantastic so we want this year to be just as good or even better!  Please take in any unwanted books to Mrs. Harper from now until Wednesday 4th March.  P4 will be organising the event in conjunction with the Eco Group.  Each class will have a time slot to visit the swap shop in the rotunda. Everyone who supports this event will not only get a new book to read in return but will also be promoting the message of reuse as part of the reduce – reuse – recycle!

Focus 1: Waste


Do you know what you can and can’t recycle?


Aberdeen City have a website that clearly shows what you can and can’t put in each of the waste bins.  Please visit the following link for more information.




It is very important to know what you can’t recycle as there can be consequences if you contaminate your bin with non-recyclable materials.  Where a household repeatedly contaminates their recycling bin, the council can refuse to empty your bin or even, in the worst cases, remove your bin entirely!

Building Success

Focus 1: Waste


Do you know where your waste goes?

We have been learning about what happens to our different bins when they leave our doorstep.

Mixed Recycling

Aberdeen City have invested in a Materials Recovery Facility located at Altens.   All the waste materials that are placed in the recycling bins are taken here and sorted into different waste streams.  The sorted/bale waste is then sent onto different facilities within Britain and Europe for further reprocessing.  We plan on visiting this centre very soon!



General Waste

  • Some of the bulky items and waste is sent to Landfill.   The landfill is Stoneyhill landfill just south of Peterhead which is operated by SUEZ.  The landfill has been designed to Landfill Directive standards which came in 2003.  This means the landfill is fully engineered to a certain standard  with each cell being lined and capped.   The leachate ( liquid produced form the waste breaking down) is contained and treated on site or at facilities off site.   The site also captures  landfill gas  it produces to generate electricity.


Food Waste

  • The separately collected food waste is taken to Keenan’s Recycling in Mintlaw where it is composted in large vessel composters which keeps at a high temperature for a period of time which allows the a pasteurised product to be produced which is spread on farm land in the north east



Focus 1: Waste




On Wednesday 15th January 2020, the senior members of the Waste Minimisation group went to Altens East Recycling & Resource Centre to see what happens to the blue lid recycling bins when they are emptied every fortnight.  When we arrived, we were escorted to the training room and dressed in the appropriate equipment and informed of the health and safety rules.


When we entered the facility, we were amazed by the sheer volume of recycling!  The huge building was a maze of conveyor belts and cabins.  We saw the recycling lorries coming in on one side and tipping the waste then it moving through the conveyor belts and cabins where it was separated into different categories.  In the cabins, the employees sorted some of the waste by hand as the machines aren’t always 100% reliable!  At the other side of the building, we saw lorries coming in to pick up baled materials, e.g. plastic, paper etc. which is bought by a company then taken to its premises to recycle into something else to sell.


We learned how important it is make sure that your waste is clean and dry.  Unfortunately a lot of waste is still not being cleaned which means that it is contaminating other waste.  This means that this waste has to then be thrown out and can’t be recycled.  Also, if the waste has been lying in the bin for up to 2 weeks in the bin, by the time it gets to the recycling centre – it is very smelly which is not the best environment for the workers!  Please don’t put plastic bags or crisp packets into your recycling bin as these can’t be recycled.


Overall, we learned how committed Aberdeen is to trying to reach the Zero Waste target.  It has made us think of our own commitment to promoting the reduce – reuse – recycle message in our school community.  We will be thinking about this over the remainder of this school year to see how we can be even better at Hazlehead.


If you want to find out more about the recycling centre, please visit the following link:





If you would like to visit the recycling centre, please visit the following link:




Focus 8 : Recycling at School

Many thanks to everyone in the school community who continue to use our Rag Bag Clothing Bank.  In the short time it has been in operation, we have had 2 uplifts with a combined weight of 348 kg.  This has generated £139.20 for the school.  The bank is now relatively empty so please help to fill it up with any unwanted clothing.  Under our Eco Board we have created a progress chart so that everyone can see how much clothing we are recycling!  Well done to everyone and keep up the good work!









Learning about Landfills


Focus 1: Waste


We have been learning about what waste is.  Waste is basically something we get rid of when we no longer need it as it has served its purpose.  Many people throw some of their waste out in the following way.




Landfills are huge holes in the ground where waste goes.  A compactor squashes the rubbish down so that more can be added.  When the landfill is full, the waste is covered by sheeting and earth.  We watched 2 clips that explains where waste goes including a landfill site.  These were: Landfill by Skelton Grange and Ask Anything – What happens to our waste by CBeebies.  You can watch these on You Tube.


We have been learning more about what goes into landfills.  We looked at a range of everyday items that often end up in landfills and had a think about how long we think it takes for these to decompose.  This means how long it takes for something to break up into smaller pieces.  We were very surprised and quite shocked with the statistics!


Did you know how long it takes for these items to decompose if they are sent to a landfill?

  • Paper towel                 2 – 4 weeks
  • Banana peel                2 – 5 weeks
  • Newspaper                  6 weeks
  • Apple core                   2 months
  • Milk carton                  3 months
  • Plastic bag                  10 – 20 years
  • Battery                        100 years
  • Aluminium can            200 years
  • Disposal nappy           450 years
  • Plastic bottle                450 years
  • Glass bottle                 1 million years


Today, we teamed up with some of the pupils from the Global Working Group who are looking at plastic waste.  We chose some good spots in our school grounds to bury our waste to see for ourselves how long it takes to decompose – almost creating our own mini landfills.  We will be monitoring this over the year.

Considering the timescales above, we now realise more so than ever – the importance of recycling!




Our Rag Bag Clothing Bank is now opened!

Focus 8 : Recycling at School

Today we officially opened our Rag Bag Clothing Bank which is now situated at the front of the school beside the main door. Please use the clothing bank to deposit any old clothing, footwear that you no longer need.  By doing this, you will help the school raise money, your clothes will be reused/recycled for good causes and you will be promoting an Eco Aware responsible attitude which is one of our school values.


“We are delighted to be working with Hazlehead Primary School in Aberdeen who joined our Rag Bag scheme some years ago. There is a very active Eco Group and the school overall has saved several tonnes of textiles from going to landfill. It has also earned thousands of pounds in RagBag fundraising over the years. In fact they are so productive in textile recycling that they now have one of our exterior clothing recycling banks on site positioned in the school grounds.”  Shona Grimmer, Promotions Officer, Nathans Wastesavers.


Further Information about Rag Bag

As you may be aware, Rag Bag is a free school fundraising scheme reusing and recycling unwanted textiles preventing them from ending up in landfill. Since 2006, they have helped schools raise over £10 million. They have over 3000 schools and community groups participating in Scotland!


Rag Bag is part of Nathans Wastesavers a national textile recycling company in operation since 1907. Nathans collect unwanted textiles from Schools, Charity Shops, and Community groups and also service Textile Banks throughout the UK. Their factory in Denny, Stirlingshire employ over 300 people and sort and grade over 500 tonnes of textiles every week preventing them from going into landfill!


Textiles are sorted and graded into over 100 categories with 84.7% of items being reused, 12.3% of items being recycled and 3% of items being unusable. The majority of items reused go to Africa as good quality second hand clothing, recycled items are cut into industrial wiping clothes and are used in the UK. The unusable items are turned into energy.


You can find out more about Rag Bag on their website www.rag-bag.co.uk

World Book Day 2019


Focus 3 : Reusing Items

Hazlehead enjoyed a fantastic book swap event to celebrate World Book Day with an eco-conscience!  All pupils from Nursery – P7 were invited to bring in a book that they no longer needed to swap with a new book someone else has brought in!  A huge thank you to Mrs. Harper and P4 for organising this very successful event.  There was even a ‘try before you buy’ area along with a storytelling zone for our older pupils to read with our younger pupils.