Launch of Composting Initiative for Schools Project
Published on 23rd September 2021
Media Release September 23rd, 2021
Launch of Composting for Schools Project
Dublin City Council is pleased to announce the launch of its Composting for Schools Pilot Initiative. This is a collaboration between the four Dublin Local Authorities whose Environmental Awareness Officers have worked on its development.
The aim of the project is to help schools set up, start or improve composting systems to reduce waste, save money, combat climate change and assist them in attaining Green School Flags and Sustainable Development Goals. The project will also make it easy for teachers to access a variety of fun, participatory and interactive activities for school children to learn about composting and gardening. These activities will support students’ understanding of the underlying principles of ecology, biology and biodiversity that underpin all life on earth.
Each participating school will receive a €250 voucher from their local authority to spend on in-school collection caddies, instructional signs, a variety of composting systems and composting tools including secateurs, pitch forks, watering cans and thermometers.
Dublin City Council Chief Executive Owen Keegan said “With Climate Change being one of the most prominent challenges we are facing today, it is encouraging to see the four Dublin Local Authorities working together to foster a culture of Climate Action among our primary and secondary school students.”
To sign up for the program, teachers, caretakers and school office staff can visit the Composting Ireland website to view a short two-minute introductory video, read about how the program works, fill out a short survey about their school and choose a set of training dates to get started.
Speaking about the initiative, Hugh Coughlan, Coordinator of the EMRWMPO, said “This is a vitally important initiative that aims to increase knowledge and skills about food waste and composting among students of all ages and the wider school community. This project is highly replicable and what is achieved in schools in the Dublin region can be duplicated right across the Eastern-Midlands Region and indeed, throughout the whole country”.
Project leader Craig Benton from Composting Ireland said “I am thrilled to see this come to fruition and look forward to working with over 100 schools all over Dublin, teaching them about the main elements of composting and installing systems that they can use to reduce emissions and recycle natural resources”.
Dublin City Council Green School Officer Audrey Duff said “We’re delighted to be able to offer this Composting for Schools initiative to our many Green Schools and we’re delighted with the number of schools who have indicated that they would like to take part, adding to the wonderful program that already exists to encourage students to develop an understanding of our natural environment and to begin their own Climate Action journeys.”
Teachers and other school staff are invited to participate in an online training program to learn about composting and how it supports essential water, nutrient and carbon cycles that allows us to grow the food we need to thrive. The training will also introduce teachers to a variety of learning activities they can use in the classroom to simulate learning by students at all age levels. After the training, a specialist from Composting Ireland will conduct a site visit to each participating school to help it set up systems for separating food waste for brown bin collection, establish composting systems for garden and landscape materials and/or install wormeries to compost food waste from staff and student lunches. All of these will prevent waste and decrease greenhouse gas emissions as well as provide the tools for students to learn about soil ecology and the biology of composting organisms.
Marino Institute of Education’s Dr. Sandra Austin said "This innovative program gives teachers and schools the confidence, knowledge and skills to embed education for sustainability into their teaching and learning. Practical support, online training and access to high-quality educational resources with curriculum connections clearly outlined, make it easy to connect classroom learning across a range of subjects with the practical and effective actions being undertaken by the school to reduce waste and promote the recycling of natural resources."
Places are limited and are given on a first come first served basis. So please do not hesitate to jump on this unique opportunity by visiting www.compostingireland.ie/schools/
A poster associated with this initiative is attached for your convenience.
Notes to the Editor:
The pilot project for Dublin’s primary and secondary schools is being led by Composting Ireland with funding support from the four Dublin area Local Authorities and the Eastern-Midlands Regional Waste Management Plan Office (EMRWMPO).