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Recycling Efforts of Schoolchildren Set To Save Up to £2,000 Per Year

Recycling Efforts of Schoolchildren Set To Save Up to £2,000 Per Year

June 20, 2019

This year pupils from Pond Park Primary School through the commitment of its Eco Council will save the school nearly £2,000 in the next academic year on disposing of landfill waste through the introduction of dedicated recycling bins and boxes in all classrooms.

Alderman James Baird, Chairman of the council’s Environmental Services Committee visited the school to hear from the Eco Council, which is made up of pupils from Primary 4 to Primary 7.

Speaking about the visit Alderman Baird, said: “It was amazing to hear the younger generation being passionate about saving the environment and deciding that it was necessary for pupils to practice recycling in school all the time.  They were inspired after watching David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II which highlighted that when we throw things away without thinking that there really is no away for our waste; it ends up buried in the ground or in our oceans.

“Through a structured programme of research across all classrooms, the Pond Park Primary Eco Council determined there was too much recyclable material being put in the landfill bin and wanted this to stop!  The school has a healthy break policy but it was noticed that convenience foods like Peperami and chicken bites in snack bags were being brought in lunches.   While very tasty the packaging was being sent to landfill, and it was costing the school £4,880 per year to have its five landfill bins emptied.

“To benefit the environment and the school budget the Eco Council signed the school up as a collection point for Terracycle so that crisp, biscuit, cracker wrappers and pens can be recycled and the school gets money in return for each kilogramme of material.  I would like to congratulate the Eco Council and their teachers for their outstanding work, which has reduced the school’s number of landfill bins to three.  I encourage them to keep going and ensure the important message of recycling gets carried home and put into practise there too,” concluded Alderman Baird. 

Every classroom in Pond Park Primary now has a recycle box to collect items for Terracycle, a recycling bin for plastics, cartons, paper and cardboard and a food waste caddy. Members of the Eco Council then sort these recycling bins each Wednesday to ensure quality material is ready for the fortnightly collection. 

Keri Shanks, Classroom Assistant from Pond Park Primary School said: “We are extremely proud of all the good work that has been undertaken by our Eco Council in a short space of time. Through their dedication and commitment they have educated over 600 schoolchildren on recycling and how they can each play a part in saving our planet. 

“The initiatives they introduced partnered with frequent talks with all classes the Eco Council has significantly reduced the amount of school waste going to landfill; and they are determined to reduce this further in the year ahead.  Not only have they created 624 responsible citizens but they have saved the school a considerable amount of money through decommissioning two 110 litre bins; and this can be reallocated for educational purposes.”

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council would like to see more schools follow in the footsteps of Pond Park Primary School.  It can offer waste education talks, waste audits and resources which can be booked through phoning 028 9250 9439.