A St Neots mum has created a children’s character called Burt the Binman to inspire youngsters to think about the environment and learn about recycling.

Fleur Bateman developed the character for her son William, aged 10 who has been diagnosed as being on the Autistic Spectrum, and self published her book, Burt the Binman to support her son.

On Friday she met with Huntingdon MP, Jonathan Djanogly to gather support for her campaign to educate youngsters about the importance of recycling.

“William had a fascination for recycling, and the binman and wanted a story about them. I just assumed I could buy a story book as there were lots of character books on the market, but there was nothing that was child friendly and educational with good old fashioned ethics.”

The rest of the characters have evolved over the years, along with the many adventures in and around the fictional seaside town of Willswold (Southwold in Suffolk) and Burt has now become the focus of Fleur’s drive to promote environmental issues at an early age.

“I would like to share our fantastic children’s character that will completely change the way children think about their environment and recycling,” added Fleur.

Fleur has met with educational organisation Cambridgeshire Early Years and has been asked to take part in some 
recycling activities with children and carers, and Burt the Binman will make a guest appearance. She has also taken part in a book tour and William has had a refuse vehicle named after him.

“There is a lot about environmental issues in the media, in the papers and on television at the moment, which is brilliant and about time. Burt the Binman can teach children this is where it could make the difference for this country and with politicians behind us it could make a huge difference. We need to take action in these early years and teach these little ones the right way before they learn the wrong ways.

I have seen it with my own eyes when I have done a nursery or library visit where I read to the children and take Burt the Binman along with me and I talk to the children about how and why it is good if we recycle.

I often have parents contact me days and weeks after and tell me they are now a recycling household because Burt the Binman has told their child the right way to do things.”