Clare primary schools tackle waste management

Clare primary schools tackle waste management


School children in Co. Clare are set to show their parents the way in the battle against global warming after the launch of a countywide, fun schools programme.

Thousands of national school students across the county are set to take on a programme that will educate them about the impact that waste has on the environment, the damage it causes and how they can play their role in tackling this global crisis.

The ‘Clean Ireland Kids – Let’s Recycle’ programme was officially launched today at CBS Primary School, Ennis by Clare company Clean Ireland Recycling, which is maintaining its proud ‘green first’ credentials as a waste management company with its latest initiative aimed at reducing our waste and, therefore, carbon footprint.

This latest Clean Ireland Recycling initiative, which is being rolled out to 3rd & 4th classes in one-hour sessions, is based around two playful characters, Ben & Ken, who teach children the essentials of proper waste management and the proactive role they can play in helping to avoid environmental catastrophes.

The programme will be delivered at all participating Clare primary schools before the end of the school year and plans are already being advanced to roll it out across neighbouring counties.

The one-hour session sees schoolchildren taken through a programme with the aid of a colourful brochure that includes everything from crosswords and other environmental educational games. It has instructions on the hazards and dangers of certain wastes, the level of threat there is today to the environment, the different types of waste – from metals to hazardous, garden waste to plastics and papers – and how to deal with them.

The session is also highly informative, with students told that 70% less energy is required to recycle paper and reuse it compared to making it from raw materials, as well as explaining the realities of rising water levels, extreme flooding, wild fires, extreme storms and melting ice- caps that are the result of global warming.

The programme not alone teaches about the problems but is very much solution focused, with a major push on waste prevention, down to creating an ‘Eat First’ left-over family box where items closest to their use-by date are placed and prioritised as ingredients for meals. The students are then also encouraged to add up the cost of the items used from the ‘Eat First’ box to get a sense of what money can be saved by reducing waste.

“We’ve taken this initiative because while we have come a long way already in terms of how we treat our waste, we still have a lot to learn and a lot to implement. Adults should be taking the lead but sometimes children are the most effective teachers of all,” said Sarah Butler, Schools Programme Co-Ordinator at Clean Ireland Recycling.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.