Two recycling operatives, Patrick Guihen and Sandro Keningale, who are also uncle and nephew, came up with a great idea for a story whilst out on their rounds collecting recycling in the City of Westminster. The book is called Munch and the Funny Tummy, which follows a recycling vehicle called Munch who gets sick after picking up the wrong materials put out for recycling.
Between them, Patrick and Sandro have worked for environmental solutions company Veolia for over fifty years. The pair wanted to do more to help find new ways to increase recycling in London, especially by encouraging children to get involved from an early age.
Patrick, who works as 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!”
Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster City Council Cabinet Member for Dustainability, said: “It is amazing to see two of our hardworking 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.”
Based in the fictional town of Greentown, the book is aimed at Key Stage 1 (5-7 year olds) and follows the adventures of Munch and his recycling team, Ricky and Rachel. You can purchase copies for just £4 from the Veolia website, which also includes downloadable learning resources. And make sure to get involved in the conversation on Twitter by tweeting to @VeoliaUK using the hashtag #Munch.