Westminster City Council’s refuse team, from environmental services company Veolia, have gone from waste to words as the inspirational authors of a children’s book about recycling.
Two refuse men, Patrick Guihen and Sandro Keningale, who are uncle and nephew, came up with the idea whilst out on their rounds collecting recycling in the city. The story, titled 'Munch and the Funny Tummy', follows a recycling vehicle called Munch who gets sick after picking up the wrong materials put out for recycling.
The co-authors Patrick and Sandro, who have between them worked for Veolia for just under 60 years, wanted to do more to help find new ways to increase recycling in London.
Patrick Guihen, who is a foreman at Veolia, said: "Every day on our collection rounds in Westminster we meet different members of the public who are always so interested to learn more about their recycling. Sandro and I had the brainwave that it would be great to write a book that can help educate children about the importance of recycling. We hope the world falls in love with Munch as much as we did!"
Pascal Hauret, London Regional Director, said: "When Patrick and Sandro came to me with the idea of Munch it made me so pleased to know my teams are so dedicated to teaching more people about the importance of recycling. This book is a great inspiration and we’re delighted to have supported them to make their dream of a book into a reality."
Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council cabinet member for sustainability, said: "It is amazing to see two of our hard-working refuse collectors pass on their front-line experience to children in such a creative and entertaining way. We have ambitious recycling targets here in Westminster, so our next generation is so important in helping us achieve that and making our city an even better place to live. I am sure that when story time arrives, there will be no match for Munch."
The book will be available in Westminster libraries and schools, as well as being on sale online.