Mercy Secondary School, Inchicore, Dublin Win Repak/An Taisce Recycling Secondary School of the Year!


Repak/An Taisce Recycling Secondary School of the Year

Winner: Mercy College, Inchicore, Dublin 8

Achievement: 73% reduction in landfill waste

Mercy Secondary School, Inchicore is a school based in Dublin City with 26 teachers and 200 students. Their committee consists of students from every year, teachers, caretaking staff and parents. Their environmental review was extremely thorough, carrying out all essential actions and recommended actions.

The school made huge reductions in their general waste, reducing output by approximately 73%. Their recycling efforts led to a significant increase of 22% and they went from zero composting to 24L in 15 days. There was also a two thirds reduction in printer ink costs reflecting a move away from paper based communications.

The school exceeded their target of reducing total waste levels by 25%. Some of the key initiatives they put into place to reduce levels of litter and waste include:

  • Encouraging the reuse of bottles or alternative drinking containers.
  • Using fewer cartons, drink packs, fizzy drink bottles.
  • Using a lunchbox instead of bags and packaging.
  • Planning lunch the evening before to avoid buying extra packaging on the way to school.
  • When using paper in any subjects particularly in subjects like Art and IT, the scraps are kept to be used again for other projects.
  • Homework moved to e-mail or delivered electronically?
  • A monthly rubbish free day.
  • Improved awareness for bin usage: improved signage and monitored large bins during break times.
  • Reinforcing the use of composting.
  • Monitoring of waste, litter warden rotas and frequent surveys to monitor awareness.

They quantified the programme’s success through data from waste trends, ink cartridge usage trends, litter problem areas, paper usage trends, Green-Schools Action Day and the Litter Warden rota.

The school’s curriculum links spanned all years and covered topics such as, stewardship, environmental impact of waste, awareness raising, litter policy at the school and waste and materials usage trends at the school.

The school involved the wider community throughout their programme, with Homebase supporting them in their Millennium Garden Make-over initiative and the Home-School Liaison Officer bringing the Green-Schools message to families of students.

Their programme has been a great success with everyone playing their part, congratulations from CEIST to Mercy Secondary School, Inchicore on this wonderful work carried out in the school and on winning this presitigious award.