Balla N.S. is a 6 teacher mixed primary school with 150 students situated halfway between the towns of Castlebar and Claremorris in County Mayo. They launched their litter and waste campaign with a ‘war on litter’ policy in 2006. The committee comprises 2 students from each of 1st to 6th class, the principal,deputy-principal, teacher, special needs assistant and secretary. Class members were elected through a voting system during class.
During their environmental review, the committee focused on outdoor waste as their problem area. Plastic containers arose as the main litter so 2 measures were introduced to tackle this;
To tackle office waste, all office stationary is recycled or composted, photocopying has been reduced by 40% of users using double sides of pages. Ink cartridges are recycled. A local publisher recycles all padded envelopes and boxes.
Two ‘Glimmer Men’ have been appointed to keep unnecessary lighting and use of electrical appliances to a minimum. 5 teams of litter wardens constantly monitor and patrol the litter and waste situation. A survey was completed earlier in the year showed:
72% of the school now recycles all their rubbish
80% recycled bottles and aluminium cans
58% recycled clothing
Composting also increased in popularity with 32% of families composting at home.
Most importantly the amount of bins sent to landfill was reduced by half!