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A project at Magna that encouraged children to recycle has proven to be anything but rubbish after being shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

“It’s a Rubbish Adventure”, a joint project between the visitor attraction, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham (BDR) Waste Partnership Group and Shanks Group, has been named as a finalist in the Communications category at the MRW National Recycling Awards.

The awards, organised by Materials Recycling World, recognise excellence and innovation in recycling and resource management in the waste industry.

It’s a Rubbish Adventure ran at Magna for a year between July 2014 and June 2015 and lifted the lid on what happens to our waste after we throw it away. Over 3,500 primary school children and 500 families from across the region took part in workshops, which helped them learn about how rubbish is treated and recycled. Not only did Magna’s education team run them at the science centre, but they also headed out into schools to spread the word.

Along with their teachers and parents, they used specialist equipment like electromagnets, air blowers and conveyor belts to learn about the engineering processes involved with recycling the rubbish at the Manvers Waste Recovery Facility in Rotherham, which is a partnership between Shanks Group and Scottish and Southern Energy, on behalf of BDR Waste Partnership. 

Engineers from Shanks worked with Magna to deliver the workshops, which were also designed to get children excited about engineering and consider it as a career choice.

It’s a Rubbish Adventure was supported by a grant of £28,000 from The Royal Academy of Engineering, as part of a public engagement scheme.

Stuart Ballard, Magna’s education manager, said: “We’re delighted that the project has been nominated for this award.”

“Some 340,000 tonnes of rubbish are thrown away in Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham each year, so it’s important that young people learn the importance of recycling, and how it all works.

“We really enjoyed hosting and helping to deliver the workshops and were delighted with the numbers of children and their families we engaged with, who realised that learning about rubbish can be fun.”

The winners of the MRW National Recycling Awards will be announced in July, at a ceremony in London.