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Belfast schools waste no time in recycling with a Wheelie Big Challenge

Christine Cahoon   Wed 01 Jul 2015   updated: Thu 22 Oct 2015

Schools from all across Belfast gathered at Belfast City Hall on 4th June to celebrate environmental success with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Eco-Schools and Belfast City Council’s Wheelie Big Challenge.

The event was held in the spectacular setting of the Great Hall in Belfast City Hall. Schools were invited to present their final findings and actions for this year’s Wheelie Big Challenge. The project asked pupils in 30 Belfast schools to investigate and engage in practical actions to reduce waste in school and at home by reducing, reusing and recycling.

Lisnasharragh Primary School took first place in the Primary category and taking second in the same category were St Teresa’s Primary School and joint third places Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School and Holy Family Primary School.

Victoria College took first place in the Post Primary category and taking second and third places in the same category were St Louise’s Comprehensive College and Methodist College respectively.

All schools attending set up brilliant displays highlighting the work they had done for the Wheelie Big Challenge which included everything from worms to Eco-robots and welly-boot planters. Some schools had moved from having no recycling in school to having as much as 80% of their rubbish recycled by the end of the Challenge.

Six schools were also officially presented with the prestigious and internationally recognised Eco-Schools Green Flag award for excellence in environmental work in their schools: Victoria College, Donegall Road Primary School, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary School, Botanic Primary School, Lisnasharragh Primary School and St Peter’s Nursery School.

George Lyttle, Waste Manager, Belfast City Council, said: “It’s fantastic to see the effort and team work that these children have put in, to bring the “reduce, reuse, recycle” message to life in such a creative way. Congratulations to all the schools who made it through to the finals. It was also great to be able to celebrate the achievement of the Belfast schools receiving Eco-Schools Green Flag accreditation”

Carmel Fyfe, Eco-Schools Manager, Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, said: “Congratulations to all the Schools receiving awards today through the Wheelie Big Challenge and Eco-Schools programme. Today was a wonderful opportunity to reward the efforts being made by those in the local area doing their bit to make Belfast a cleaner, greener and more sustainable place in which to live and we are delighted to be supported by Belfast City Council in recognising these efforts.”

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, sponsored by SSE Airtricity, is a free to enter programme. Eco-Schools work through a simple seven step process to implement behavioural change and study a range of topics, such as waste. By participating in projects like the Wheelie Big Challenge schools are able to reduce their environmental impact and become more sustainable as they work through their Eco-Schools Programme.

Schools who would like to get involved in the Eco-Schools Programme, or who would like to find out more, are asked to visit www.eco-schoolsni.org.