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Bermondsey’s young ‘eco-warriors’ take deputation to Southwark Council

Sixth-form students from the City of London Academy in Lynton Road took a deputation to Southwark's environment-themed Council Assembly meeting last week to ask the authority what it is doing to help schools in the borough become more energy efficient.

"At our school we set up a student-led group called Eco Warriors to do things like ensure there is a paper recycling bin in every classroom and lights are turned off when they are not needed," said deputation spokesman Michael Ginzo.

He continued: "I know from my experience at the City of London Academy that schools don't have the specialists readily available to ensure that they are as efficient as they could be at using energy and managing their waste, but they are willing to take on ideas when presented with them.

"We think that the council and its partners should collaborate more closely with schools in Southwark to raise awareness about being green and its financial benefits, and actively help them to become efficient energy users and waste managers."

Michael Ginzo asked whether the council had considered devising a standard model for green measures in schools across the borough.

Cllr Barrie Hargrove, cabinet member for environment, explained that the council provides a free recycling service for schools in the borough.

He also said that the new Veolia waste management centre near the Old Kent Road will have an interactive discovery centre which will be open for school visits.

Cllr Hargrove talked about Southwark's success in the national eco schools programme and the low-carbon schools scheme.

"Your very good suggestion about a standard model is something that I'm very happy to take away and we'll come back to you on how we can possibly do that," he added.

Cllr Mark Glover asked the deputation whether students at the City of London Academy had received any careers advice about working in the sustainable energy industry.

"I'm afraid not much is the answer to that question," said Michael Ginzo. "In terms of careers in that field, there is obviously advice for students who enquire about it, but we haven't had direct advice."

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