Dennis Eagle has teamed up Skips Educational, publisher of fun and innovative books for schools, as part of a pioneering new project to educate Birmingham school children about the benefits of recycling.
The scheme is designed to support Birmingham City Council’s waste collection modernisation programme and will see over 10,000 books distributed to schools across Birmingham, with every 10 year old in the city receiving a free copy.
The unlikely alliance between Dennis Eagle and Skips Educational was formed when the refuse collection vehicle manufacturer was tendering for the contract to supply a new fleet to the Council as part of its ambitious programme of change, which involves a move from black bags and recycling boxes to wheeled domestic waste and recycling bin collections.
It was clear from the outset that the council was looking for something markedly different, using its Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility to extract social value from the deal.
Both Dennis Eagle and Skips Educational are signatories of the Birmingham Business Charter for Social Responsibility and, as part of the tender, they put forward a proposal to develop a children’s book designed to teach the benefits of recycling and the positive impact this has on the environment.
Dennis Eagle successfully won the bid, with orders for over 100 vehicles to be rolled-out across the city by the winter of 2015. Since securing the contract it has worked in close partnership with Skips Educational to bring the school books project to fruition, with the first copies now rolling off the press.
The star of the books is ‘Dennis the Dustcart’, a character that children can associate with the new vehicles they will see on the streets. Combining learning with fun, they bridge the gap between home and school through enhanced parental engagement and feature a series of crosswords and puzzles to reinforce educational content covered throughout.
Lee Rowland, Sales and Marketing Manager at Dennis Eagle, comments: “When tendering for the contract to supply refuse collection vehicles as part of Birmingham City Council’s waste modernisation programme it was clear from the outset that this would be more than just an arrangement to supply vehicles.
“The Council was looking for something unique that would provide social value and positive long-term change and, thanks to our innovative partnership with Skips Educational, we have been able to deliver this. The books will play a vital role in educating the grassroots within the community, ensuring future generations change their perceptions of waste to protect the environment for many years to come.”
Ash Sharma, Skips Educational Founder and Author, says: “This project has clear social and environmental benefits. By bringing the world of refuse collection to life it will help to engage families, encouraging them to recycle more. This will help Birmingham City Council sell off more raw materials and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, leading to significant cost savings.
“Social change and mobility are very much on the political agenda. This initiative provides a model in which families, schools and businesses can work together to affect change and help to encourage the development of responsible, creative and ambitious citizens of the future. It is a model we would like to see replicated across the country, as the result is a win-win for everyone involved.
“Engaging families in a real world learning opportunity – the practical application of science which has a clear societal benefit – and the creation of the ‘Dennis the Dustcart’ character further develops the concept that learning can be fun and complex issues can be entertaining.”
For more information on Dennis Eagle please call 01926 458500 or visit www.dennis-eagle.co.uk.