School children in Fingal are about to be introduced to the joys and benefits of composting through a Dublin-wide training programme.
The Dublin Local Authorities Chief Executives have announced the launch of the Composting for Schools Initiative.
This pilot project for Dublin area primary and secondary schools is being led by Composting Ireland with funding support from the four Dublin area local authorities and the Eastern Midlands Regional Waste Management Plan Office.
Hugh Coughlan Coordinator of the EMRWMPO is delighted to help fund the Composting for Schools Project. “This is a vitally important initiative that aims to increase knowledge and skills about food waste and composting among students of all ages and the wider school community. This project is highly replicable and what is achieved in schools in the Dublin region can be duplicated right across the Eastern-Midlands Region and indeed, throughout the whole country”.
The aim of the programme is to help schools set up, start or improve composting to reduce waste, save money and combat climate change and assist them in attaining Green School Flags and Sustainable Development Goals.
The pilot programme will also make it easy for teachers to access a variety of fun, participatory and interactive activities for school children to learn about composting and gardening. These activities will support children’s understanding of the underlying principles of ecology, biology and biodiversity that underpin all life on our planet.
Fingal County Council Environment, Climate Action and Active Travel Department Director of Services Dave Storey said: “This is a great opportunity for Fingal schools to tackle climate change and reduce emissions from food and landscape waste while also creating a quality compost in the circular economy. We look forward to working with both primary and secondary schools on the initiative”.
Craig Benton from Composting Ireland who is the main lead said: “I am thrilled to see this come to fruition and look forward to working with over 100 schools, teaching them about the main elements of composting and installing systems that they can use to reduce emissions and recycle natural resources”.
Dr. Sandra Austin, Senior Lecturer and Head of Department for Global Diversity, Sustainability and Intercultural Education Lead in Sustainability at the Marino Institute of Education who is on the steering group for this project said: "This innovative programme gives teachers and schools the confidence, knowledge and skills to embed education for sustainability into their teaching and learning. Practical support, online training and access to high-quality educational resources with curriculum connections clearly outlined, make it easy to connect classroom learning across a range of subjects with the practical and effective actions being undertaken by the school to reduce waste and promote the recycling of natural resources".
Teachers and other school staff are invited to participate in an online training programme to learn about composting and how it supports essential water, nutrient and carbon cycles that allows us to grow the food we need to thrive.
The training will also introduce teachers to a variety of learning activities they can use in the classroom to simulate learning.