Drumcree College’s Eco-Club pupils who were instrumental in the school’s all Ireland environmental success received plaudits from Environment Minister Mark H Durkan on Wednesday.
The Minister was in Portadown to personally extend his congratulations to the pupils.
Earlier this year the pupils’ project ‘Don’t be Trashy, Recycle was awarded the Junior Waste Category Award at ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards.
The pupils explained to the Minister how they wowed the judges with a piece of creative brilliance.
“I am very impressed with the pupils’ enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to their environment. It is so encouraging to see the understanding and respect so many young people have for our environment and how they are working towards ensuring it is safe and sustainable for both their future and for future generations to come,” said Minister Durkan.
As part of the winning project, the pupils recycled paper and used some of it to make recycled paper logs. They then collected rain water to nourish plants and used biodegradable foods from the staff room to make compost for their eco-garden.
To reduce waste in the community, the Eco-Club asked all pupils to bring in recyclable goods from their homes such as old clothes, mobile phones and spectacles. They donated the mobile phones to Macmillan Cancer Society and sent the spectacles to Vision Aid Africa.
The Minister added, “The pupils’ aim was to teach people that although they may find it easy to throw everything into the bin, some items can have a second life or be recycled safely to help others and protect our environment.
“This aim was certainly achieved through the innovative and committed work of the pupils. Their award was very well deserved.”
Drumcree College is also a Green Flag Eco-School. The Eco-Schools programme works with young people in finding solutions to environmental and sustainable development challenges. The Green Flag is awarded to schools with high achievement in their programme and is an eco-label for environmental education and performance.