The Association of CSPE Teachers (ACT)
Supporting Citizenship Education in Ireland
Waste in Castlecomer
by Michael Stokes, Castlecomer Comunity School.
The project originated as a "keep the classroom tidy campaign" which started with first years - three years ago. The school provide a special bin for metal cans which were recycled. The students then elected a committee to conduct a campaign for the provision of recycling bins for the local town. They contacted Kilkenny Co. Council and the local tidy towns association.
The Council was willing to provide the bins but was having difficulty in finding a suitable location. It was pointed out that the recycling bins couldn't really be located in the most central area - the local town square - as they would detract from the visual amenity of the area. Most people thought that the bins were a good idea but the NIMBY syndrome developed. After about a year a suitable site was found - a narrow street off the town square. Three relatively small recycling bins were located there. Later they were replaced with larger ones.
The local residents then claimed that the bins were causing an obstruction and got the Council to remove them. They weren't replaced. The students learned that trying to implement a good idea is often not as easy as it appears at first glance.