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Caithness News Bulletins December 2003

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Nature & Environment

Pennyland Kids Get In On Recycling With UKAEA & Vulcan
A  charity recycling venture started by staff at Dounreay has spread to the local community, helping to spruce up the nearby town of Thurso.

Thousands  of soft drink cans are collected every year at Dounreay and sent to  an  aluminium recycling plant in Ross-shire, with the proceeds going to needy causes in the far north.  The  initiative  has reduced the amount of commercial waste produced at the site which otherwise would be sent to a local landfill.

Now,  site  operator  UKAEA  is  backing  a similar initiative from a local environmental group by providing free transport for the cans it collects in the community.  The  proceeds  from  the  recycling  initiative,  co-ordinated by aluminium packaging  recycling organisation ALUPRO, are being used by Thurso in Bloom to spruce up the most northerly town on the British mainland.

The  initiative  has  also  spread  to staff working for Rolls Royce at the Vulcan  Naval  Reactor Test Establishment, with UKAEA agreeing to transport their cans to the recycling plant as well.

The  Dounreay  scheme was launched in May 1998 and is co-ordinated by Lorna McDermid,  Training  &  Safety Facility Manager. "It seemed such an obvious way  to help the environment and good causes locally at the same time," she said.  "So  far,  we've  raised  well  over 1,000 and this has been spread across a wide range of organisations, from the specialist baby care unit to Macmillan nurses and the local autism group."

Dr  Guy  Owen,  head  of  safety  and environment at Dounreay, said: "Staff across  the  site  are  doing  their  bit  to  help  the  community and the environment. By providing transport free to other groups that are following their  example,  UKAEA  can  also do its bit to put something back into the local community."

Mike  Potts,  vice-chairman  of Thurso in Bloom, said: "We've raised almost 1400  so  far from recycled cans, which is a great boost to our efforts to make  Thurso  a  greener  place  to  live  and  work. It wouldn't have been possible without the contribution from UKAEA."