MORE than 60 schoolchildren became official ‘waste warriors’ when they visited the North East’s only commercial food waste anaerobic facility.

Youngsters from Barnard Castle Preparatory School and Coxhoe Primary School in County Durham learnt how Emerald Biogas in Newton Aycliffe uses leftover food to create green energy during the trip last week.

Ben Wicling, Year 4 class teacher at Barnard Castle Preparatory School, said: “It was an excellent trip that allowed the children to see first-hand the process of converting food waste into electricity. It brought recycling to life.”

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Across the UK, on average, each primary school throws away 16 kilograms of food waste every day.

Esther Brown, commercial manager at Emerald Biogas, said: “We see educating the next generation about how yesterday’s leftovers can become tomorrow’s green energy as being a priority and through this initiative we are committed to helping the local community change the way it deals with leftover food.”

Emerald Biogas has brought its Waste Warrior campaign to schools across in the county, including Woodham Burn Community Primary School in Newton Aycliffe.

Riannon Rowe, head teacher, said: "The 'hands-on' experience of seeing our own food waste turned into something of value will be a genuine learning experience for all our pupils."

Funding for the project came from the Rural Development Programme for England, which is jointly funded by Defra and the European Union.