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Posted on Mon 21 Jan 2019

Antrim and Newtownabbey pupils are Wheelie serious about waste

Schools in Antrim and Newtownabbey are tackling the important topic of recycling and food waste with the launch of the exciting Wheelie Big Challenge, run by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Eco-Schools and supported by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council. With alarming figures like 7 million tonnes of food being thrown away from UK homes every year, pupils are investigating what can be done in school and at home to reduce waste.

Straid Primary School is one of the schools in the area who are embarking on a new recycling and food composting project within the school as part of the Wheelie Big Challenge. Helen Duff, Eco-Coordinator in Straid Primary School said: “We are very excited to be taking part in the Wheelie Big Challenge. As part of a rural community we see every day how important it is to look after our environmental. Being able to make changes to our recycling and food waste within the school shows children that no matter how young or small, we can all make a difference when we work together.”

Ruth Van Ry, Environmental Education Manager, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful said: “We are delighted to roll out this action based, fun project and competition for all schools in Antrim and Newtownabbey to think about how they could improve the environment by reducing waste and recycling more. We are looking forward to seeing all the interesting ideas from schools. We invite all school pupils in Antrim and Newtownabbey to put their eco-thinking caps on and get involved.”

Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Paul Michael said: “We are pleased to be working with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful on this competition for the first time. As a council we’re working hard to improve recycling and composting rates and this competition gives schools the opportunity to win great prizes while helping to protect the environment and reduce waste disposal costs. We hope that this competition spurs on pupils and families to think about what they waste at home and in school and to do something positive about it. ”

The Wheelie Big Challenge is open now to all schools in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and will run until May. You can register your interest in the competition and receive resources and information by emailing cathy.gorman@keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org or by calling 02890 736920.

The Eco-Schools Programme is the world’s largest environmental education programme which aims to make environmental awareness and action an intrinsic part of school life. Eco-Schools work through a simple seven step process to implement behavioural change and study a range of topics, such as waste, litter and energy. By participating in projects such as the Wheelie Big Challenge schools throughout Antrim and Newtownabbey will be able to reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable as they work towards their prestigious, internationally recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag award.