What is the Environment?
The Environment is the world around us. It is where we live, where we go to school and work. It everything we see and everything we touch.
Why we should take care of the Environment
If you want to live in a clean and beautiful world then you have to help take care of it. We all have to share the Earth, it’s the only one we have! By respecting the area we live in and helping to stop pollution and stop using all of our resources we can live in a clean and safe environment for us, for our children, and for our grandchildren to enjoy.
Waste is a serious issue in Ireland. Every year we produce tonnes and tonnes of waste. Local authorities send over a million tonnes to landfill each year, equal to the weight of nearly a million cars!!
Litter is also a very big problem in Ireland, making our streets and countryside untidy and causing injuries to birds, fish and animals.
Everyone Is Responsible For Keeping The Environment Clean:
We all have a responsibility to play our part at home, in work, in school or at play, for keeping the environment pollution free. If everyone changes their behaviour a little bit we can make a big difference!!
Litter is Waste in the Wrong Place
There are 6 full-time Litter Wardens in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. They enforce the law relating to litter pollution, prevention and control. They also assist local communities and businesses to improve their local environment. The current fine for littering is €150!
In 2009 our Litter Wardens issued 1826 fines to the litterbugs in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown. Help keep your County clean and make sure you wont be fined: Put Your Litter In The Bin!!!
Students and Teachers from the French-Irish school, Foxrock,
Recycling is a great way to help the environment by reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill. In a small island country like Ireland it is a difficult and costly process but its benefits far outweigh the price.
Recycling means reusing or finding a new use for an item when you are finished with it. Examples of this are:
- Bringing plastic or glass to a bring bank so it can be melted down at a recycling plant and made into a new item
- Recharging batteries for them to be used again
- Bringing clothes to a charity shop for them to be reused or bringing them to a bring bank so they can be made into blankets, carpets and other items at a recycling centre.
- Making compost out of vegetable skins and garden waste
There are many ways to recycle things and every time you recycle you are helping keep your country beautiful helping reduce the amount of landfill waste.
Here is a full list of our recycling facilities and what you can recycle at each of them.
Tidy Schools Competition
The Tidy Schools Competition is an annual competition that was first launched in 2002. Judges visit the schools that participate and assess each school on their level of environmental initiative, particularly in the areas of litter management, recycling measures and general environmental awareness. It is a good opportunity for both the students and the staff to show their enthusiasm for helping the environment. In 2010 schools will have the opportunity to win prizes in a number of new categories including best biodiversity project, most improved and best new school. School winners are presented with their awards at an official ceremony held in County Hall. The 2009 overall winner was Guardian Angels Primary School who received a brand new trophy for their efforts
Guardian Angels NS Winners of the 2009 Tidy School Award with their trophy presented by An Cathaoirleach Marie Baker.
Dún Laoghaire Christmas Decoration Competition
Every year the Council holds a competition for school children to make Christmas Decorations out of everyday household items that would usually be considered waste.
Primary schools choose one decoration to be judged in the County Final, with 28 schools entering the 2009 competition. The standard of competition was extremely high but there can only be one County champion and that honour went to a 6 year old pupil from Our Lady’s National School, Clonskeagh.
Left: The winner of the 2009 Recycled Christmas Decoration Competition with the winner’s trophy.
Right: Representatives from Dún Laoghaire Evangelical Church lead the school winners in singing Christmas carols at the Recycled Christmas Decoration Awards Celebration.
Here is a list of interesting facts regarding reducing, reusing & recycling
- A child uses about 5000 nappies before being potty trained!!! Based on the number of births last year, that means approx 308,420,000 will go to landfill from those children before their 4th birthdays if they use disposable nappies!!! Use washable reusable nappies and help the environment.
- On average, each Irish household creates about 1 ton of household waste for landfill annually. That’s the weight of 2 family cars per house!!!
- Approximately 84% of your bin waste can be recycled!!
- Order a green bin and reduce your waste charges and help the environment.
- Around 32% of all household waste is Compostable. Buy a Composter and save money on refuse.
Every steel can – like the cans baked beans and tinned corn come in – are 100% recyclable and can be recycled over and over again to make new kinds of things like bicycles and other items.
- Form a Green Schools Committee of students, teachers, staff and parents – big or small
- Do a review or survey to see what issues need to be tackled
- Come up with an action plan to decide who does what and when it should be done
- Monitor your progress
- Inform and involve the local community, perhaps with an Action Day
- Make up your Green Code
- Make sure it fits in with your school subjects – it shouldn’t be extra work
It takes 17 trees to make 1 ton of paper. Each year, approximately 46% of all waste collected by local authorities for landfill is recyclable paper. That’s about 509,000 tonnes of paper, the equivalent of 8,653,000 trees!!! Recycle paper in your green bin and help save our forests.
Green Schools is an international programme run in Ireland by An Taisce in co-operation with the Local Authorities. It is an environmental awareness education programme that promotes whole school action for the environment.
Participating schools set up a green schools committee and take on an action plan to reduce waste and litter in their school. Successful schools are awarded a Green Flag.
Follow the following 7 steps and see how your school can take whole school action!
For your Green Schools Handbook and more information see the An Taisce website: www.greenschoolsireland.org
Or contact Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council’s Assistant Environmental Awareness Officer:
Level 3, County Hall, Marine Road, Dún Laoghaire
Phone: 01 205 4817
Rathmichael Parish School, our longest running Green School
Composting is a great way of reducing the amount we throw away. Compost can be used in gardens, flowerpots and vegetable patches, both at home and in school. You can purchase a Compost Bin from most hardware stores or from the Ballyogan Recycling Park. Telephone: 2913600
How To Compost:
Firstly, find a good spot for your bin. It should be put on soil where there is little grass and not too much sunshine – the bin gets very hot inside.
Next add your Compostable waste in green and brown layers:
- Grass clippings
- Uncooked kitchen scraps
- Old vegetables & vegetable peels
- Old fruit & fruit peels
- Manure – Guinea pig, rabbit
- Old bedding plants
- Green weeds – young/soft
- Dead flowers
- Seaweed – crushed
- Tea leaves & tea bags
- Plant and shrub trimmings
- Old straw or hay, shredded
- Bark, woodchips
- Autumn Leaves
- Dry brown weeds
- Ashes - from peat or wood only
- Hair – human or pet
- Hoover bag contents
- Coffee grounds & filters
- Paper & soft cardboard – shredded
- Corrugated cardboard – shredded
Do Not Add
- Fish meat/bones
- Grease, oil or fatty foods
- Coal ashes or barbeque coals
- Dairy products
- Brightly coloured paper/card
- Disposable nappies
- Cat, Dog or Human excrement
- Pernicious weeds such as couch grass or creeping buttercup
This year, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is once again supporting the National Spring Clean and needs YOUR help. We want the residents of the County to help out with the fight against litter by having a Spring Clean in your local area.
The entire month of APRIL will be National Spring Clean Month!! So everyone will have at least one free day, morning, afternoon, or even just an hour, when they can pitch in and lend a hand.
Register with An Taisce directly at www.antaisce.org or call 01 4002202 to take part in the clean up. Everyone who registers with An Taisce gets a free pack with materials and information to assist your clean up,
Our Environment, Culture and Community Department will also provide additional bags, gloves, litter-pickers and bag collections for everyone that wants to get involved. You can contact us on 01 205 4817 or email email@example.com.
Every little bit helps keep our County clean:
- Talk to your teachers and see if you can do a school clean up.
- Try organise a clean up in your neighbourhood.
- See if the Residents Association in your area has organized a clean up and lend a hand.
In 2009 over 100 students representing 8 secondary schools attended a series of eco-conferences in the Council Chamber and Assembly Rooms at County Hall. Presentations were made by representatives of the Change Campaign, Unicef and Fair Trade Ireland, while Brenda Palmer (organic gardener) discussed the importance of protecting our natural wildlife and what we can do to attract bats, frogs, hedgehogs, birds, bees and other wildlife to our schools. The students were then invited to quiz the panel of experts. The experts were impressed with the student’s level knowledge and understanding of climate change issues, and with the technical questions asked by the students.
The students then participated in a role-playing world trade game, before discussing the issue of food miles. Finally the students were given time to share ideas for improving their schools environmental performance.
All the schools that attended the conference said they would like to make their school a fair trade school, while many of the schools are investigating how the biodiversity found in the school grounds can be increased. The eco-conference is set to become an annual event for Secondary Schools to be run each September.
Lighting garden fires to burn household or garden waste is illegal, and you can be fined up to €3,000. Burning such waste is harmful to the environment because burning household waste at low temperatures releases harmful dioxins into the atmosphere. Back yard burning can also cause annoyance to neighbours, especially if they are relaxing in the garden or have their washing on the line!
Illegal Waste Collectors
Beware of Illegal Waste Collectors, householders who use them could be liable for up to €3000 in fines. Illegal Waste Collectors don’t care about your environment. All waste collectors must have a Waste Collection Permit (issued by Dublin City Council), it’s your responsibility to make sure those taking away your waste are authorised to do so.
If you suspect someone is an illegal waste colllector, please report them by phoning the enforcement unit on 01-2047954 or Lo-Call 1850 365 121 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Pure Campaign (Protecting Uplands and Rural Environments)
The PURE project is an environmental partnership initiative which unites all statutory and non-statutory interests in the Wicklow/Dublin Uplands in a single endeavour to tackle the damage to the environment from littering and fly-tipping.
National Tidy Towns
The National Tidy Towns competition attracts over 1000 communities (rural, urban, big and small) to try to win the coveted National prize. Many of our young people have assisted local Tidy Town groups by getting involved in clean-ups and conservation and planting projects. The Tidy Towns website can be used to find your local Tidy Towns group and find out more about their work.
IBAL (Irish Business Against Litter)
Ibal was set up in 1996 by an alliance of companies who wanted to promote a cleaner Ireland. Ibal produce a league table which rates cities by their cleanliness, Dún Laoghaire was awarded the top grade (Clean to European Norms) and came 18 th in the cleanliness league overall.
Gum Litter Taskforce
The gum litter campaign aims to promote a behaviour change among gum droppers through local campaigns to create a cleaner, more attractive local area that residents, visitors and businesses can enjoy.
Every year during March, hundreds of millions of people switch off their lights (and other non-essential electrical equipment) for 1 hour in support of Earth Hour. Major iconic buildings join in by switching off all lights including the Sydney Opera House, The Empire State Building, The Golden Gate Bridge and many more. Many people also organise activities for their friends and families in support of Earth Hour. Find out more and show your support for Earth hour at their website
Codema are working with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to reduce its impact on the environment. Staff have been encouraged to switch off electrical devices when not in use as well as looking at other ways to save energy (and money). Many members of staff have formed eco-buddy teams to ensure computers and monitors are switched off at the end of the day. The eco buddies check the computers of their buddies to make sure they are all off before heading home at the end of the night.
Cycle to Work
The Council are supporting the government’s cycle to work scheme, which enables staff to purchase bicycles for use in getting to and from work. So far over 50 members of staff and a Councillor have availed of this scheme and are now busily cycling to work.
Stop Food Waste
The Stop Food Waste website provides hints and tips to save money and waste less food. They even have delicious recipes for leftovers. Here’s one of their tips, ‘When storing bread, put it in a plastic bag. Suck the air out using a straw and then seal the bag. 1/3 of all bread bought is thrown out so this will keep your bread fresher for longer - Vacuum packing at home!’
Environment, Culture and Community Department
Litter Management Section 01 205 4817
Waste and Recycling 01 205 4810
Ballyogan Recycling Park 01 291 3600
Assistant Environmental Awareness Officer:
Dean Eaton 01 205 4700 ext. 4066