St. John's N.S. is located in Sligo and has 14 teachers and over 150 stduents. At St. John's N.S. the committee comprises students from 3rd to 6th class and two students from a special class,the principal, the vice-principal, a teacher, a classroom assistant and the caretaker.
The student members were selected because of their interest in the Green-Schools programme, their communication skills and their ability to work as part of a team. The committee meets once a week to share information and ideas, to discuss different aspects of the programme and to evaluate progress. The senior pupils take turns at keeping records of the meetings.
As part of their environmental review, the committee members together with a selection of students from other classes undertook an indoor bin survey. In this bin survey, waste was sorted by type and the contents were totalled. They found that paper, plastic and food scraps made up majority of their waste. They also undertook an outdoor litter survey marking the location of the litter on school maps and found substantial amounts of litter. 6th class produced pie charts representing the results of the surveys in their Maths class.
The actions taken by St. John’s to reduce litter include:
Banning food and drink in school yard.
Setting up litter warden rota and training wardens.
Spot checks on the yard and in the classrooms to assess litter levels.
Introduction of league tables for classroom tidiness.
Reinforcing the existing healthy eating policy.
Making signs to encourage use of bins and displaying these through out the school.
The actions taken to reduce waste include:
Encouraging staff to photocopy on both sides of page.
Shredding waste paper for use as animal bedding.
Composting food scraps.
Recycling milk & juice cartons, mobile phones, and batteries.
Encouraging students and staff to bring in lunches in reusable containers.
St. Johns’s have many great projects to enhance the natural environment on the school grounds, including planting vegetable and herb garden, butterfly garden, and creation of a log pile to examine mini-beasts up close.
St. John’s have been successful in reducing their waste by 25% and they now aim to reduce this further, by 50%, before the end of the school year 2005/06.