Schoolboy leads the way on recycling plan

A recycling idea put forward by a Netherlee schoolboy is about to be put into action in East Renfrewshire — and he has the award to prove it.

Tom Hepburn was inspired by a talk given at his school and decided to take action, approaching East Ren Council to suggest that street litter bins should have recycling facilities too.

The council’s environment team were so impressed by the P5’s plan that they awarded Tom their first ever environmental contribution award.

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Tom’s proposal will also be put into action, with the first ‘recycling on the go’ bins appearing on East Ren streets this summer.

Tom said: “I was thinking about all the big landfill sites in Scotland and thought it would be a good idea to have recycling bins in more places, so that not so much rubbish goes to landfill.”

The enterprising youngster was one of 6,000 pupils from 17 primary schools to hear a talk from Michelle Thompson, of the environmental team, who commented: “When we received the suggestion from Tom, we were really impressed. It meant a lot to me personally that a pupil had gone away from my presentation and wanted to make a difference.

“I wanted to acknowledge Tom’s enthusiasm and giving him the council’s first ever Certificate for Environmental Contribution seemed the best way.”

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Tom was presented with the certificate at a school assembly by councillor Vincent Waters, environment convener, who congratulated the Netherlee pupil for “having the initiative to get in touch. It’s great to see someone of Tom’s age care so much about the environment and his community. He is a very deserving recipient of this award.”

The new bins are set to replace litter bins in selected locations, to be announced in the coming weeks.