Eco-Schools is a fundamental initiative created but the Foundation for Environment Education which encourages young people to engage in their environment by allowing them the opportunity to actively protect it.Through this programme, young people experience a sense of achievement at being able to have a say in the environmental management policies of their schools, ultimately steering them towards certification and the prestige which comes with being awarded a Green Flag.
RECYCLING OUR WASTE AND REDUCING OUR LANDFILL
At the Bruton School for Girls (United Kingdom), the project Recycling our waste and reducing our landfill was introduced during a school assembly. Coloured bins for paper, plastic, tin and card were distributed around the school, and a notice board was produced about the processing and destination of all our recycled goods. The project was also introduced to our prep school through an assembly. The topic was reinforced through the curriculum. Various workshops on recycling were introduced during the ‘Girls Go Green’ week. Most of the school have now visited our local landfill site, and learnt about the processing of general landfill waste, and the amount of space required for landfill.
The eco-squad have delivered the project aims to the rest of the school and have also been responsible for the collection of the initial recycling. They have now devised a collection from recycling points on a rotation with the Form 2 students in our school. They have made an e-book for the rest of the school on the processing of our recycling and how much money has been saved.
Parents and staff also participate by bringing in recycling, paper, plastics and tin etc.
Initially, it was difficult to try to encourage all to recycle more as opposed to sending it as general waste. We also initially had a problem with the collection as the amount of paper and card that we have recycled has grown so much. We are now in a position where the number of general waste bins that we use is minimal. The general rubbish is now re-sorted before it is sent to landfill. This is to attempt to reduce our spending even further.
3 years ago it cost us £15,000 a year to pay for waste to go to landfill, now we only spend £3,500 a year. This saving of £12,000 a year goes back into the education of the pupils. Girls are much more aware of recycling / landfill issues than they used to be. A lot have now taken these ideas home and have encouraged their parents to recycle. Most of our waste is being recycled or re-used now.
If you wish to do the same in your schools, here are some advice :
Get your Head / Bursar involved, they often know the most about the waste management in the school and are interested in reducing landfill costs. They will also know who to contact about sensible bins etc. Be prepared to meet resistance as we had to employ an extra person who deals only with our recycling now. You will have to put the case to them quite convincingly.
We are now developing our own wormery. We are working with the stationary and catering department to buy goods that are sold in more recyclable packaging. We are also looking more closely at energy consumption, monitoring its usage and installing motion sensored lights etc. We are lucky to have a green week each year, where we can educate the girls about our newest projects. We have also started a Bushcraft club where the girls are now thinking about not just recycling but minimizing their impact on the environment.
This project is nationally coordinated by Keep Britain Tidy
Keep Britain Tidy