PUPILS at Mayfield Primary had special visitors this week when ‘Poppy’ and ‘Bella’ the purple and blue bin mascots stopped by.

Poppy, Bella and some of the council’s Waste Awareness Team made the visit to introduce the purple bin mascot to pupil, Leah McMahon.

Leah created the design and came up with the name of the character as part of a competition which ran last summer through the council’s holiday school meals programme, Wrap, Run and Fun.

Almost 100 colourful entries were submitted by youngsters. These were whittled down to a top six and the tough task of selecting a winner was left to Provost Ian Clarkson and Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place.

Leah’s winning design, named ‘Poppy’, features a number of hearts to demonstrate that she loves to recycle.

Poppy has now come to life in the form of a life-sized mascot and joins three other bin characters – Bella the Blue Bin, Gary the Grey Bin and Bonnie the Brown Bin – in helping to promote recycling to a younger audience.

The new purple bin was introduced as part of the council’s plans to give residents more capacity to recycle at home. It is used to recycle glass, cans and plastics. While the blue bin is now used to recycle paper, card and cardboard only.

Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Place, said: “Our bin characters have gone down really well with our young people as they are a fun and engaging way to learn about recycling and how, by disposing of items correctly, they can help look after the environment. Our mascots and Waste Awareness Team have been touring North Ayrshire’s schools to spread the recycling message. And it’s clear from these engagements that ‘Poppy’ is a firm favourite – and that’s down to Leah’s superb design.”