Mount Lourdes has recently launched a major recycling drive that will see designated recycling stations in every classroom, office and communal area of the school as part of its wider sustainability drive.
The initiative has been launched as part of the school’s Partnership in Sustainability with local firm, Mannok, which has supported Mount Lourdes in establishing the recycling scheme and is working with the staff and students to promote a culture of zero waste.
The school has purchased a total of 100 new 50l recycling bins from Galgorm Group to set up the recycling stations, and has collaborated with local firm, Skip Services Enniskillen, to ensure the waste segregation aligns with local recycling facilities.
Waste recycling has been in operation in Mount Lourdes for some time, but has been limited to cardboard and food waste until now.
However, there was a clear desire amongst both staff and students at the school to do more to divert the school’s waste from landfill and contribute to a more circular economy in the region.
Following discussions with Mannok on its similar recycling initiative, school Principal Sinead Cullen, along with Head of Geography, Gerard Quinn, worked with the students, staff and local service providers to establish a much more comprehensive recycling structure.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Mrs. Cullen said: “We are delighted to launch a whole-school recycling program as part of the Mount Lourdes and Mannok Partnership in Sustainability.
“While the school already recycles cardboard and food waste, this project will see recycling bins in every classroom, office and communal area of the school, marking a major step forward in the school’s sustainability drive.
“As a school community, we have an obligation to care for the environment by reducing waste and landfill pollution as well as promoting environmental conservation.
“We aim to inspire greater environmental awareness and values in our students generally and we really appreciate Mannok’s support in getting this sustainability project launched so successfully.
“We look forward to working on further projects with Mannok in the future to fully realize the potential of our working partnership, for our students, as well as for the wider society.”
To create further awareness of the importance of recycling and the considerations to correct segregation of recycling waste, the school is running a competition which will see Year Nine students tasked with recycling waste to create their own works of art, which can go on to be recycled again, giving important consideration to the different components of their new designs, right down to the types of adhesive, to ensure every part of their creation can be fully recycled.
Mannok is sponsoring competition prizes for the best entrants, with judging to be completed by the company’s Sustainability Manager, Paul Monaghan.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a host of creative entries in the competition and hope that the students will be inspired to give careful consideration to reusing and recycling waste wherever possible,” he said.
The Mannok and Mount Lourdes Partnership in Sustainability was launched in 2021, and has seen very strong working relationships develop between the two parties in its first year.
The Mount Lourdes Student Council and the Year 13 REAL Environmental Group were at the forefront of promoting recycling as the partnership’s theme for the 2021/22 academic year, so the establishment of such a comprehensive recycling scheme throughout the school is a great achievement for all involved. .
“This project represents an excellent gain for Mount Lourdes as a school community as well as for the environment more generally,” said Mr. Quinn.
“Our students have strongly communicated their desire to improve recycling within the school, through the Student Council and the Year 13 REAL Environmental Group. This project will leave a lasting legacy to those students.
“It is extremely rewarding to see the Mannok and Mount Lourdes partnership work so effectively to benefit the school and wider community.
“To promote the renewed recycling drive within Mount Lourdes, the Geography department is currently running a Year Nine Recycling Competition, with prizes kindly sponsored by Mannok.”