Composting Initiative Cultivates a Greener Future for Cork County Schools

Donal O’Leary, Composting Ireland, Lavinia Sheahan, Carriganima NS, Cllr. Gobnait Moynihan, deputising for the Mayor of the County of Cork and Katherine Corcoran, Environmental Awareness Office Cork County Council with Pupils from Carriganima NS participating in the Composting for Schools programme.

Ten schools from Cork County have completed the Composting for Schools programme,designed to help them start or improve their composting systems, to reduce waste, save money and combat climate change.

The programme, delivered by Composting Ireland and supported by Cork County Council, was set up to help students learn about composting and gardening using a variety of fun interactive activities to create a better understanding of the principles of ecology and biodiversity that underpin all life on our planet.

Welcoming the programme, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Frank O’Flynn said, 

By equipping students, teachers, parents, and school staff with the tools of composting, waste reduction, recycling, and environmental awareness, we're cultivating a generation that will not just appreciate nature but actively safeguard its health. Congratulations to each of the ten schools who have taken the time to participate in this year’s programme.

Participating Cork County schools included Colaiste na Toirbhirte Bandon, Scoil Fhiachna Glengarriff, Ballymoney National School, Scoil Phádraig Naofa Bandon, Gaelscoil Charraig Ui Leighin, Scoil Mhuire Naofa Carrigtwohill, Kilcolman National School, Timoleague National School, Bweeng National School and Carriganima National School.

To enhance their composting facilities, Cork County Council provided each participating school with a €250 voucher to spend on a variety of composting systems and tools including secateurs, pitch forks, watering cans and thermometers, in-school collection caddies and instructional signs.

Of the ten participating schools, eight schools have already opted to install a composter, improve their existing systems or add new composting units such as leaf mould cages, garden composting systems and wormeries to provide both a means of composting leftovers from school lunches and a resource for nature education.

The schools are also supported by site visits from Composting Ireland, to establish their needs and receive assistance to set up and maintain their new composting regimes. Donal O’Leary, Composting Ireland added “We are thrilled with the response from Cork schools. The teachers have been enthusiastic and committed to learning about composting and bringing best environmental practices to their schools.”

Carriganima National School have already set up a composting system and have gained invaluable learning from the programme. Lavinia Sheahan, teacher at Carriganima National School said “The Composting for Schools programme has been a very positive experience for our school. Donal has been a wealth of knowledge and a huge support in improving the composting systems in our school. Since joining the programme, we have set up a wormery. The children have taken responsibility for the wormery by collecting classroom waste and setting up rotas for feeding the worms.   We are using the voucher from Cork County Council to install Leaf Mould Cages. An abundance of autumn leaves fall on the school grounds every year, we are really excited to turn what was a nuisance into a learning experience which will result in a sustainable supply of our very own leaf mulch and compost”.