Schools Waste Action Club

The Schools Waste Action Club (SWAC) is a waste education programme that we provide free of charge to primary, secondary and special needs schools throughout Nottinghamshire, as part of our 'Recycle for Nottinghamshire Education' programme. 

Its aims are to:

  • increase awareness of waste and its management among school staff and pupils
  • encourage and support schools to reduce, reuse and recycle waste
  • transfer the knowledge gained by pupils and staff from working on waste at school to achieve increasingly sustainable waste management in the home.

The Letter to Father Christmas Competition

We want to hear from young recyclers across Nottinghamshire about their recycling good deeds.

Share your letter to Santa with us, stating how you have recycled any or all of the items that are collected in Nottinghamshire – cans, paper, cardboard, or plastic bottles – with as much added festive magic as you wish, and be in with a chance to win a family ticket to see the Nottingham Playhouse pantomime, Cinderella. The winner will also receive a special Christmas present from the recycling elves!

Entries are welcome from children aged 5 – 11. And remember the letter does not have to be long but it must be original with festive cheer!

To enter, download the template [pdf] and return your letter to Santa before midnight on Monday 11 December.

You can either post your letter to:

Mansfield MRF
Warren Way
Crown Farm Industrial Park
Forest Town
NG19 0FL

or email it to

Please check the full competition terms and conditions before entering.

Primary schools

A SWAC visit usually starts with a whole school assembly to introduce the concept of sustainable waste management to the whole school.

The SWAC Education Officer will then follow up the assembly by delivering a range of classroom-based hands-on activities designed to raise awareness and kick start the process of affecting behavioural change. These include:

  • making recycled paper
  • designing a waste free lunch
  • the wonderful world of worms
  • additional themed and seasonal activities.

Secondary schools

If your school is interested in the Schools Waste Action Club (SWAC) programme, an Education Officer will visit  for an initial meeting. This may be an opportunity to offer advice and support in extending a recycling system beyond the office into classroom areas for example.

The SWAC officers primarily work with year seven or year eight pupils but have worked with older students on Award Scheme Development and Accreditation Network (ASDAN) or E2E programmes. The sessions cover:

  • assembly
  • what’s wrong with my compost?
  • making a wormery
  • making recycled paper - mini enterprise
  • rubbish relay
  • additional themed and seasonal activities.

Feedback from schools

Nottinghamshire SWAC has worked successfully with over 170 schools in the region to tackle the issue of waste minimisation. SWAC activities are linked to the National Curriculum, the Healthy Schools programme and can support an application towards an Eco-Schools award.

"Really informative session. Children attentive and very aware of what role they can play when addressing the 3Rs” - Leas Park Junior School

"Children fully engaged. Positive comments from parents." - West Bridgford Infant School

"A fantastic week! Very well organised and very relevant to the children and their work towards the Eco-Schools Silver status…"  - St John the Baptist C of E Primary School

"The content/resources of the activity were perfectly pitched for the age group…" - Beeston Fields Primary

"This has been part of a fabulous week... it was good starting with a visual assembly and great for each class to do a practical activity. Thank you." - Beeston Rylands Junior School

"Really great, enjoyable day." - Carlton le Willows School and Technology College

"I would definitely recommend a SWAC visit to other teachers - very informative. Thank you!" - Archbishop Cranmer C of E Primary School

Contact the SWAC Team 

If you have any queries about the waste education programme, would like to arrange for an education officer to visit your school, or have any feedback about the programme, please contact us.

  • email:
  • telephone: 0115 977 4936. You can call us Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm or Friday, 9am to 4.30pm.

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