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Blooming marvellous recycling fund

Betty Cafferty plants apple tree at Matlock Preschool Playgroup Young recyclers are benefitting from a blooming marvellous community fund.

Matlock Pre-School Playgroup and Darley Dale Primary School have been awarded £2,000 by Derbyshire Dales District Council and its waste and recycling contractor Serco to help them grow environmental projects.

In Matlock, £950 has helped the playgroup create a vegetable plot and flower garden and to run a weekly gardening club to maintain the plot and harvest the vegetables into healthy snacks.

A group spokesperson said:

"We want the children to develop an understanding of minimising waste by picking only what they need, and the importance of recycling vegetable peelings and other food waste."

In Darley Dale, the primary school is using a £1,065 grant to grow vegetables, fruit and flowers - and some of the produce will be taken to the school kitchen to make soup and cake.

Chairman of the District Council's Community & Environment Committee, Councillor Jo Wild said:

"Latest official recycling figures from the Rural Services Network show that the Dales is one of the best recycling districts in the whole of England.  Since Serco took over our household collections three years ago, the amount Derbyshire Dales residents recycle and compost has risen to almost 56% of all waste, which is the best figure in Derbyshire - and campaigns such as this joint fund continue to encourage our communities to make recycling a priority."

A total of £6,000 is available every year to Derbyshire Dales community groups including schools, parish and town councils, voluntary organisations and charities - and another beneficiary in the latest round of grants was the Transition Wirksworth waste and recycling group, which received £130 to buy wheeled barrows to assist with the effective separation and transportation of recyclable materials during litter-picking community events.

Community fund details can be found online. Funding projects can include organising community litter picks, promoting composting schemes, organising recycling workshops and creating vegetable gardens. The next round of applications should be submitted by the end of September 2015.

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