Children study science of ‘burping bacteria’

Children across Somerset are set to become experts on the “burping bacteria” that will soon be turning their waste food into clean, green power.

In Recycling Week (17-23 June), all primary schools will receive a colourful educational pack on the science of the £10 million anaerobic digestion (AD) plant being built near Bridgwater.
SWP AD edu pack 01
And part of the pack produced by Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) has been created by the duo behind the bestselling Horrible Science books, writer Nick Arnold and artist Tony De Saulles.

As well as educating Somerset pupils about technology and biology, the pack aims to help children encourage families to recycle food waste rather than add it to their refuse bin.

At present, Somerset residents recycle more than half their waste, and raising that rate is easy, especially with food that otherwise ends up decaying and producing pollution in costly landfill.

Somerset council tax payers face a landfill bill this year of more than £11 million, including at least £2 million due to food waste.

Aimed at Key Stage Two pupils aged seven to 11, the new pack includes lesson plans, key facts and educational games to explore where food comes from, and how it can be recycled.

The SWP schools pack has been created by the green education charity, the Carymoor Environmental Trust, based near Castle Cary.

Somerset’s new AD plant, being built by recycling company Viridor, is nearing completion. After testing, it will use bacteria to turn the county’s food waste into methane to generate electricity.

The plant’s progress is being chronicled on the SWP website at

Any resident needing a new or replacement food waste container should order it online at or call 01823 625700.

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