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Recycling Rita and Hungry Harry waste no time teaching children about recycling

27 November 2023

Recycling Rita and Hungry Harry will be teaching children at Barnack Primary School the importance of recycling at a special assembly and workshop on Tuesday 28 November 2023.

The visit has been set up by Peterborough City Council’s recycling education officers as part of the council’s drive to increase recycling rates in the city and encourage more people to throw less waste in their black bins.

Last year, Peterborough City Council disposed of almost 40,000 tonnes of household waste from the black bin collections which then goes to the city's Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Fengate.

However, the council estimates that almost one third of this was food waste that could have been put in the council's grey food waste bins. Recycling food waste via your food waste bin is better for the environment and saves the council around £870,000 a year in disposal costs.

The council also estimates that 10,000 tonnes of recycling is also thrown away into black household bins when it really should have been disposed of in the green recycling bin.

As Peterborough City Council looks to make over £5 million of savings next year, encouraging residents to dispose of their waste in the correct bins could help save thousands of pounds.

The recycling education team are hoping to encourage the city’s youngest residents to get involved by teaching them from a young age the importance of recycling.

Councillor Gavin Elsey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Climate Change said: “Encouraging residents to reduce the amount of waste they throw into their black bins is as important for our environment as it is for our finances.

“The council needs to save £5 million next year and disposing of waste in the black bin is by far the most expensive way for us to dispose of our waste.

“As a local resident myself I would rather that money was spent on running services.

“By going into schools, nurseries, and pre-school our recycling education team hopes to encourage our youngest residents to become young recycling ambassadors at home, encouraging their parents to make sure they dispose of all their waste in the best way possible.”

The team will deliver a whole school assembly and then workshops and games for different year groups to help them understand the importance of recycling in a fun and memorable way.

And with Christmas only 31 days away Recycling Rita and Hungry Harry have their own Christmas song they will be sharing with the children.

The recycling workshops and assemblies are free to primary and secondary schools, nursery and pre-schools. If you would like to find out more please email

Peterborough City Council is committed to supporting the city on its journey to net-zero and part of this commitment involves encouraging residents to reduce their waste and re-use and recycle more. Find out more how you can get involved at