The programme aims 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.
Teachers and other school staff are invited to participate in an online training programme (4 x 1.25 hour workshops) 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 by students at all age levels. After the training, a specialist from Composting Ireland will conduct a site visit to each participating school to help it set up systems for separating food waste for brown bin collection, establish composting systems for garden and landscape materials and/or install wormeries to compost food waste from staff and student lunches. All of these will prevent waste and decrease greenhouse gas emissions as well as provide the tools for students to learn about soil ecology and the biology of composting organisms.
Craig Benton from Composting Ireland who is the main lead says “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.
Each participating school will receive a €250 voucher from their local authority to spend on in-school collection caddies, instructional signs, a variety of composting systems and composting tools including secateurs, pitch forks, watering cans and thermometers.
To sign up for the programme, teachers, caretakers and school office staff can visit the Composting Ireland website to view a short two-minute introductory video, read about how the programme works, fill out a short survey about their school and choose a set of training dates to get started.
Places are limited and are given on a first come first served basis. If you wish to sign up to this programme, please visit www.compostingireland.ie/schools/