The Rubbish Monster Thing is the main character in a new book written and illustrated by Simon Chadwick, of Southampton. The picture book is aimed at infant school children to encourage them to think twice about waste.
With the cost of dealing with all of the county’s waste now regularly topping the £100 million a year mark, Hampshire County Council invited local communities and organisations to tell us about their ideas for helping people waste less, with grants available to help kick start or expand their projects. There is so much going on at a local level and the County Council wants to encourage those initiatives and inspire more.
Simon was among those awarded a grant, which he has used to develop a book for children to help educate them about waste, and he tells us more about it: “It’s about a little girl who comes across a great big monster made of waste. The monster demands more waste because he gets bigger on the things people throw away. The first thing he wants is vegetable peelings so she takes him to where they compost everything. The little girl invites the monster to put some of his waste in the compost bin so as the story progresses, he gets smaller and smaller, and he also gets more polite as well.”
Simon continued: “I don’t like that fact that adults are so rubbish about rubbish and they don’t take waste seriously all the time. When you talk to children, children so get it, they all understand it and you say ‘where does it all go?’ and they all get it and they’re all enthusiastic.”
The Community Grant Fund builds on the progress of the Smart Living initiative to encourage people to make small changes to their lifestyle which could lead to bigger savings.
Sam Horne, Strategic Manager for Waste and Resources at Hampshire County Council, said, “We were really impressed with the innovative ideas that Hampshire communities came up with to help reduce household waste and we were delighted to be able to award grants to 15 different projects from all over the county. We’re looking forward to sharing more updates on individual projects as they get up and running over the coming months.”
Simon said: “Waste is a problem for everybody, and it’s not that hard to do something about it. It just takes a little bit more thought and a little bit more effort.”
The Rubbish Monster Thing will be distributed to the libraries of Hampshire’s infant and primary schools in the new academic year, and will be available to loan from Hampshire Libraries.