A field made of recycled rubber to the school in Puglia that creates the best commercial on good practices related to the proper recovery of end-of-life tyres – this is how the competition “For a correct recycling (or processing) of end-of-life tyres” begins.  The competition is created by Legambiente and Ecopneus, the leading non-profit company managing end-of-life tyres in Italy, and calls upon children to launch a message of hope and change for their own land, creating a video on recycling and on the correct recovery of end-of-life tyres.

After last year in the “Terra dei Fuochi” [English: “Land of Fires”] area, the initiative is now in its third edition, landing in Puglia where the children of the region’s primary and secondary schools will work together with teachers to construct a positive message on the benefits deriving from the correct management of ELTs that everyone can and should support by legally purchasing new tyres and opposing sales on the black market, the cause of damage to the environment and the loss of the benefits tied to the valorisation of a precious material such as recycled rubber.

A panel of experts composed of representatives of Legambiente, Ecopneus, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the environment will judge the videos of the competition, which should be three minutes long and must be received by May 4.  At the end, the winning class will win a scholastic sports facility (gym or outdoor facility) made of rubber recycled from end-of-life tyres; the classes that finish in second and third place will be awarded furniture for the interior and exterior of their schools made of rubber recycled from ELTs.

“With this contest we want to raise awareness in students and teachers on the benefits deriving from a correct management of end-of-life tyres which, in the case of abandonment, cause extensive damage to the environment,” explains Vanessa Pallucchi, the Head of Education and Training of the national chapter of Legambiente and Francesco Tarantini, the President of Legambiente Puglia. “Recovering used tyres means valorising a precious material such as rubber that can be used to create rubberized asphalt, sports surfaces, material for insulation, street furniture and anti-slip flooring.  Thanks to the prizes put up for grabs by Ecopneus we can contribute to improving the quality of the school buildings in Puglia”.

“With 806,140 tonnes of ELTs collected from 2011 to 2014, Ecopneus manages 70% of the national system for tracking, collecting and recovering end-of-life tyres, a system that, as a whole, must guarantee at steady state the recovery of 100% of the ELTs generated each year,” declared Giovanni Corbetta, the Director General of Ecopneus.  “Ecopneus has always flanked the operational commitment in the area with attention to awareness raising and training, in particular of the younger generations, so that a spirit of ethics and legality that infects everyone – citizens and companies – is promoted parallel to the daily activities.  Only the daily choice of each individual against illegality can, in fact, definitively combat and eradicate the flows of illegal abandonment that still persist across Italy”.

The competition, which is open to Puglia’s primary and secondary schools, actually represents for many of them the conclusion of an educational process that began last school year: since October the children, accompanied by the environmental educators of Legambiente, participated in events, organised initiatives, and carried out educational activities on recycling, even visiting the crushing facilities to see what happens to end-of-life tyres when they are correctly managed.  This project, which has involved 35 classes in Puglia alone, is aimed at raising awareness in young people about the area’s problems tied to the management of waste and, specifically, to the legal cycle of end-of-life tyres, from purchase to final recovery.  It’s a way to show the children the concrete result of a correct waste management chain which, thanks to the contribution of the citizens and all those responsible for the management cycle, up to the recycling guaranteed by Ecopneus, is transformed into a good.