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Newsletter - Acorn - Spring 2002

 

Chemcar comes to Kildare!

Over the last number of months, Kildare County Council has teamed up with businesses in Kildare to provide a safe and efficient method of disposing of household hazardous waste. Items like old paints and medicines, pesticides, fluorescent tubes and batteries can be disposed of at the Chemcar, a specially designed mobile facility for just this purpose.

In Naas, Donnelly Mirrors teamed up with the Council, while Intel showed their support by providing the service in Leixlip, Celbridge and Maynooth.

A large amount of materials were recovered, and sent for recycling and/or safe disposal. This resulted in a lot of toxic substances not being poured down the drain or sent to landfill via the wheelbin.

Kildare County Council is delighted with the response and would especially like to thank everybody who took part, in particular, the staff in Donnelly Mirrors and Intel who supported this project all the way.

Chairmans Address

A Chara,

Welcome to this edition of The Acorn, the Kildare County Council, Environment Newsletter.

In my role as Chairman of Kildare County Council, I meet people from all over the county and one thing I find encouraging is the interest shown in protecting the environment of Kildare. From the youngest to the oldest citizens, there is a genuine concern to maintain the clean image of this county.

Kildare County Council has a major role to play in this- providing waste collection, increasing recycling facilities and enforcing the law to ensure that people do not harm the environment (and you can see examples of this in this newsletter).

But it is only through the continued cooperation of the people of Kildare that we can continue to protect this beautiful county of ours.

So let's all play our part in keeping Kildare: "glas agus glan"

I would like to wish you all a peaceful and prosperous 2002

John O'Neill

Cathaoirleach, Kildare County Council

Contact Us

If you have any queries or comments regarding environment issues in Kildare, the Environment Section can be contacted at St. Mary's, Naas, Co. Kildare

Tel.: 045 873838, fax: 045 873848

Email:environ@kildarecoco.ie, web: www.kildare.ie

The Green-Schools Page

Green Flags on the Double!!!

The Chairman of Kildare County Council, Councillor John O'Neill with pupils and staff of Scoil Mhuire and Scoil Eoin, as well as members of Athy Town Council at the raising of the Green Flag".

Kildare received its third and fourth green Flags on the one day! Scoileanna Mhuire and Eoin, both in Rathstewart, Athy, had their Green Flag-raising ceremony in early November. The Chairman of Kildare County Council, Cllr. John O'Neill, paid tribute to the hard work that both schools had put in to receive the coveted Green Flag from An Taisce.

In recognition of the planned amalgamation of the two schools this year, one Green Flag was raised above the school as a symbol of this joining-together of the schools.

Green-Schools Programme

Green-Schools is a European wide environmental education programme, which aims to promote and acknowledge whole school action for the environment. Green-Schools offers a well defined, controllable method of taking environmental issues from the curriculum and applying them to the day to day running of the school. This process helps students to recognise the importance of environmental issues and take them more seriously in their personal and home lives. Green-Schools is both a programme and an award scheme. The award is given to schools that successfully complete the programme.

The Green-Schools programme is a long-term project that directs pupils towards a sustainable lifestyle. In Ireland, schools firstly address the themes of litter and waste and when they have done this successfully and been awarded the Green Flag they will be introduced to the energy theme. Other themes such as water, transport and biodiversity will be added in subsequent years.

Once a school feels they have implemented the programme successfully they can apply for the Green-Flag, the school is then assessed and evaluated and the Green-Flag is awarded. Schools can fly the Green-Flag for two years after which they must renew their application and they are re-assessed. To date 97 schools throughout Ireland have been awarded the Green Flag.

International Green-Schools

Green-Schools is an initiative of FEE (The Foundation for Environmental Education). Twenty-four countries are now operating Green-Schools, including countries from Eastern and Central Europe. There are over 5,000 schools throughout the 24 countries registered for the programme. Green-Schools is also being piloted in South Africa in 2002.

International Schools Network

Being part of an international network is very motivating for schools. In keeping with the principles of Local Agenda 21, pupils feel that their efforts really have a positive effect on the international environment because more than 5,000 schools are working towards similar targets. Being part of the international network also means that Irish schools can link up via the Internet to any type or size of school, in any country they choose. This not only has very positive implications for language learning and IT skills, but it also helps schools to develop their Green-Schools programme in a sustainable manner.

Green-Schools - Ireland

An Taisce has operated Green-Schools in Ireland for four years. Green-Schools in run in partnership with the Local Authorities and is sponsored by Coca-cola. At present there are over 950 schools registered for the programme throughout the country. 75% of these are primary schools, 24% secondary schools and 1% other schools.

Green-Schools - Kildare

The Green-Schools programme has proved very popular and successful throughout Co. Kildare with 38 schools registering for the programme and four schools receiving the Green Flag to date. The county's first Green Flag was awarded to Scoil Bhride Naofa, Kildare Town in March of last year. Since then Scoil An Linbh Iosa, Prosperous; and Scoil Eoin and Scoil Mhuire, Rathstewart have each been awarded the prestigious Green Flag.

Green-Schools - Leixlip

Kildare County Council, An Taisce and Intel Ireland have come together to form a partnership with the schools in the Leixlip area. Seven schools in the area have signed up for this Green-Schools pilot programme. The registered schools will be able to avail of the added support and expert advice provided by Intel as well as An Taisce and Kildare County Council throughout their Green-Schools Programme. This addition of the commercial sector to the Green-Schools Programme is unprecedented and An Taisce and Kildare County Council are very excited at the prospects for the future.

Litter Louts Beware!

Litter remains a problem in Kildare. The Council's three litter wardens are on the lookout for litter and want the people of kildare to help them in reducing the litter proble. Some simple steps in achieving this:

Do not litter!

Do not tolerate those who litter!

If you are aware of littering in your area, contact the litter wardens. The on-the-spot fine for littering is now €125. If you are taken to court (for non-payment or more serious littering), you can be fined up to €1900- is it really worth it?

The litter wardens can be contacted on the freephone litter line 1800 243143. If you would like to the litter warden in confidence, you can meet them by arrangement at the County Library in Newbridge. Alternatively, you can telelphone them directly:

Noel Geoghegan (South County) 086 2848563

Philip Baxter (North County) 086 8285577

Michael Delaney (North County) 086 8352578

 

Don't forget to keep sending all your batteries for recycling. Almost every school in the county has a battery recycling box- check locally for details.

Recycling Banks

The number of recycling sites around the county for glass, cans and textiles is increasing all the time, let us know if you have a potential site in your area.

 

 

National Recycling Week

Gerry Crehan, Manager of Silliot Hill Recycling Centre, talking about recycling to pupils from Tiermohan National School

Kildare County Council chose National Recycling Week to officially open the county's first Recycling Centre. The Recycling Centre, located at the Silliot Hill landfill, accepts a wide range of materials including plastic bottles, newsprint and cardboard, all metals (including fridges, cookers, cars and all electrical goods).

Over 1000 students from around the county have visited the recycling centre during this period and it was a real education for everybody concerned.

These visits are proving very popular and your school or community group is welcome to visit the facility by arrangement, just contact the Environment Section for more information.

Silliot Hill Recycling Centre is located outside Kilcullen on the Naas road. It is open Mon-Sat, 8am to 4pm. The following materials are accepted for recycling:

 

Plastic

PET (mineral) bottles, plastic milk bottles, shampoo and detergent bottles

Metal

All electrical goods, cars, steel food cans, other metals

Paper and Cardboard

Newsprint, cardboard (folded flat and tape removed)

 

Household hazardous waste

fluorescent tubes, vehicle and domestic batteries, waste oil and oil filters, out of date medicines, pesticides, paint, household cleaning agents etc

Please note that most recyclables are free for householders, but a small fee will be charged for the household hazardous waste as it is very expensive to dispose of properly.

For more information on this service, contact Silliot Hill at 045 481946.

Green Electricity

Kildare County Council is presently engaged in discussions to purchase its electricity from an electricity-generating company that uses wind energy- a totally renewable and environmentally friendly source of energy.

If this initiative is successful, approximately 25% of the Council's electricity requirements will be provided from this source. This move will result in the removal of one million kilogrammes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year as well as other harmful gases. These gases are important causes of climate change and air pollution. Kildare County council is one of the first local authorities in the country to use green electricity.

This is one method by which Ireland can reach the targets for gas emissions agreed under the Kyoto Protocol and be part of the global response to climate change.

Kildare County Council is also in the process of replacing the 12000 streetlights around the county with energy efficient lightbulbs.

These two initiatives show how large organisations can play their part in reducing the harmful effects of energy use.

Leixlip Recycling Collection

Leixlip will be the pilot town in an exciting new recycling initiative. In april this year, every house and school in the town will receive a special wheelbin for recyclable materials. The bins will emptied once a month. Suitable materials are as follows:

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Light cardboard packaging
  • Aluminium cans
  • Steel cans

It is hoped that plastic will be added to this list in the near future.

The plan is to run this scheme for a year before extending the scheme to the other major towns in the county.

This is the next step in the implementation of the Kildare Waste Management Plan. This Plan sets out the methods required to reduce the amount of waste in Kildare.

People in Leixlip will receive more information on this scheme over the next few weeks.

Plastic Bag Levy

You are probably aware that a levy of 15 cent will be charged for plastic bags from March 4th. The idea behind this is to reduce the litter and waste disposal problem these bags cause.

Shops have already begun selling reusable bags, and they are highly recommended. Not only will you save money in the long term, you will also be helping the environment.

As the ad on the telly says:

"The environment: it's easy to make a difference"