Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth was delighted to present Fairview Primary School with their winning award at the Wheelie Big Challenge event last week. Whitehouse Primary School and Mount Saint Michael's were placed a well deserved second and third place respectively.
Fairview Primary School, winners of the Wheelie Big Challenge competition.
2nd place: Whitehouse Primary School 3rd place: Mount Saint Michael's Primary School
Council was delighted to be working with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful on the Wheelie Big Challenge competition for the first time this year.
Alderman Smyth commented;
As a Council we’re working hard to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and improve recycling rates for the Borough. The Wheelie Big Challenge competition gives schools the opportunity to help protect the environment, reduce their school’s waste disposal costs and win some great prizes."
Each school completed an initial waste audit, carried out by the pupils in the eco-committee, to get a starting point. They were provided with teaching materials and receive support from both Eco-schools and Council. The schools then make changes to how they manage their waste, in keeping with the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle approach. Finally, they completed another waste audit and submitted the findings to Eco-schools, along with details of their activities as their final competition entry.
The average audit results from schools across the challenge have so far shown decrease in their landfill bins of dry recyclables of 68% and a decrease in food waste of nearly 50%. One school has made a remarkable impact with a decrease in dry recyclables and food waste of 99% from their landfill bins!
Over 15 schools engaged with the challenge, with 5 schools progressing to the Final Event.
The judges for the final event were Lynsey Daly, Sue Christie, KNIB Chairperson and Billly Conway from Cookstown Textile Recycling. Pupils from each school told the judges about the actions they have taken to reduce the waste going to landfill and inspired with their innovation and enthusiasm.
The children were also treated to a creature filled nature talk from Eco-Mantella, and interactive activities with the Waste Education Officer and Habitat for Humanity.
Congratulations to the winning schools and also to the other finalists Parkhall Integrated College and Greystone Primary School for their significant progress and actions to helping reduce waste to landfill and become more environmentally friendly both in school and in the home.
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