Here at Rice College our Green School committee has been working since the start of the 2018/19 school year on trying to raise awareness of the importance of reducing and recycling waste within the school. The Head and Deputy Head of this committee, Aisling Fox and Siobhan McAleer respectively, have continued on the great work done last year by Claudia Ryan and her team.
One of our committee’s aims was to put colour coded waste bins around the school. This has been accomplished. These bins are well labelled so students should know exactly the type of waste to go into each. We have a Litter and Waste Management Team who daily check these bins, and if incorrect materials are found in these bins, messages are communicated back to the students through the student council, teachers and Head/Deputy Head to encourage them to dump waste more carefully. We regularly design (and display around the school) colourful and informative posters to promote our work and encourage students to reduce, reuse and recycle. Our committee has also been encouraging teachers and students to photocopy and use both sides of a page in order to reduce paper being wasted in the school.
Last year`s committee worked hard to get water fountains installed in the school and now that we have two, this has encouraged students to purchase reusable water bottles which can be refilled at these fountains. In conjunction with the Parents Association we are in the process of trying to reduce the use of single use plastic bottles even further by giving all students a reusable water bottle in the near future.
We continue to encourage students to use lunch boxes instead of cling film and aluminium foil and are looking at initiatives to remove single use plastics from the school canteen. A second Action Day is currently being planned and is due to take place later this year. Our work will forever be ongoing but thankfully we have a fantastic bunch of students on our committee which should make our objectives easier to attain.
Siobhan McAleer – Deputy Head