Pupils at Abingdon School spent a day "trashing" the curriculum - collecting rubbish as part of a 24-hour project.

A mountain of waste was dumped outside the school theatre to show people the amount of garbage that is generated in a single day.

Boys collected waste in an initiative to reduce the waste produced by the school by 40 per cent in one year.

Together with the charity Global Action Plan, the school aims to inspire pupils and staff to take action to reduce waste.

Biology teacher Alastair Summers, who is responsible for the project, said: "The headmaster had become concerned about the issue of waste and energy efficiency.

"We decided to do something that we could get the boys involved with.

"By reducing our waste by 40 per cent we will be awarded a UN certificate and it will raise awareness among the boys and all those who work at Abingdon School."

Upper sixth pupil, Tim Middleton, 17, said: "I hope to do environmental studies when I go to university. If you can do something locally to help the environment, I think you should be doing it."

At the end of the day, the waste was weighed and sorted by a team of 18 boys and members of the Global Action Plan.

Mr Summers said: "We found there was 490 kg of waste - almost half a tonne.

"I knew we weren't good, but I didn't realise we were quite that bad. That is almost twice as much as other schools produce."

Targets and plans will be put in place to reduce the waste and increase recycling over the coming year.

Mr Summers said: "We will be holding another day like this in April next year and we hope to have hit our target by then."

Global Action Plan will train the project team of 11- to 18-year-old boys to implement recycling and reduction of waste at the school over the next year.