This is a five teacher rural primary school with 106 students in south County Carlow nestled under the Blackstairs Mountains. Ballinkillen N.S. received their first Green-Flag for their work on Waste and Litter in 2004 and successfully renewed their flag in 2006.
Initially, their Green-Schools Committee began with 13 students and 5 teachers. However, it has grown steadily over the last number of years and now contains 37 students from 1st – 6th classes and 5 teachers. This growth is very much due to the continued interested of students and the fact that the school allows and welcomes previous committee members to remain on the committee and share their experiences with the new members. An invitation to parents and outside parties to be on the committee was extended, however, this has, as yet not been taken up. The committee meets every fortnight.
As regards waste & litter Ballinkillen N.S. are doing the following things:
Composting is up and running in the school and the compost used in the school garden.
Paper is shredded for animal bedding and some is added to the composter.
Ink cartridges from the school and the locality are collected and recycled.
The school is a ‘recycling depot’ for household batteries from the locality. These batteries are passed onto the Kernanstown Recycling Centre.
Previously (2004), Ballinkillen NS had 2 wheelie bins crammed to the top with additional bags and boxes of rubbish every week. Now (2009) their waste to landfill is down to half or 3/4 of one wheelie bin every fortnight. That's a reduction from 2 x 240l (480 litres) per week to 60 to 90 litres a week (~ 80% reduction).
As regards energy conservation they are doing the following:
Energy friendly occupant behaviour is now the norm i.e. keeping doors closed, switching off lights when not needed etc.
Two dehumidifiers were purchased to remove the dampness in the prefabs. This has had the effect of reducing the amount of energy needed to heat the rooms.
A new timer for the heating system has saved energy
New safety sensor lights were installed in the yard. Previously lights would have been left on.
Parents and the wider community are kept up to date on activities through the school newsletter "Ballinkillen News and Views"