A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save primary schools throwing money away paying expensive waste charges.

At present, all primary schools in the Cotswolds are classed as 'businesses' and have to pay for their waste to be collected by private contractors.

But county councillor Paul Hodgkinson, who represents Bourton and Northleach, says this is not right. He is calling for primary schools to be included in Cotswold District Council's waste collection service.

The district council says it cannot simply collect school waste during residential collections. but Cllr Hodgkinson is calling for that stance to be reconsidered.

He visited Temple Guiting School this week to launch his campaign.

"At the moment a school like Temple Guiting has to pay for a private waste lorry to come into the village especially to pick up one or two bins of rubbish," he said. "That doesn't make any sense from a green or cash perspective. Given that domestic waste lorries literally drive past the schools every time they collect rubbish from residents and could easily pick up their bins, I feel the council should throw a lifeline to our small schools by including them in waste collections. This would save schools much needed cash."

Temple Guiting headteacher said hiring a private waste contractor is quite a burden on the school budget.

"It's a significant sum of money," he said. "It would be good if they could take care of it. It's money we could be spending on other things. It would be a lot easier and greener if we fitted in with the district council's collection."

Cllr Hodgkinson has joined forces with North Cerney Primary School governor Jenny Forde to write to all 44 Cotswold primary schools asking them to back the campaign.

Once the responses are in, they will be presented to the district council.

Cllr David Fowles, district cabinet member for environment, said: “To suggest that waste from schools can be collected while crews are collecting domestic waste in the vicinity is just too simplistic.

"It is unlikely that sufficient spare capacity exists to collect additional waste from schools, therefore it is likely that more vehicles and collection crews would be required which would give rise to additional costs."