Castlebar E-Live are a newly convened group for people who are interested in the environment.
The group meet regularly at G.M.I.T., Westport Rd., Castlebar on Wednesday evenings at 7:30 p.m.
As we are all aware, the disposal of waste is becoming an increasingly difficult problem to solve. In Mayo our landfill site is due to close before 2002. What then? Nobody wants a landfill site situated beside their home. There are a number of measures that anyone can take to assist in waste reduction. Plastics in particular contribute to the large litter problem we have in Mayo. The fact that plastics do not break down only adds to the problem. Use of plastics creates thousands of tonnes of waste in Landfill Dumps. Compounding this, most plastics are produced from oil and as a result, this contributes to the depletion of oil as an energy resource. Needless to say, as oil sources run out the price of home heating oil, petrol, diesel and other oil related products will continue to rise.
What can we do about
To reduce your use of plastic bags try to buy loose fresh fruit with little or no packaging. Compare products and their use of packaging e.g. why not get a can of soft drink, which can be recycled rather than a plastic bottle? Wherever possible go for the option of products that are stored in glass or aluminium cans as these are easily recycled. Of course, if you are shopping for one or two items why not refuse a bag and carry your products to the car?
In Ireland, there is a potential 800,000 tonnes of glass containers available for recycling yet only 11,000 are currently being recycled. The average household discards 1.4 kilogrammes of glass per week.
Mayo County Council, in conjunction with Rehab, has made recycling banks available for glass and cans. In Castlebar, the recycling bank is located on Pool Road and in the Dunnes Stores car park. To find out where your nearest bank is or if you would like one in your area, contact the Environmental Section of the County Council. If you are recycling glass, please remember to remove lids from bottles, wash out the glass and ensure you place the correct colour glass in the correct glass bin. Glass bins cater for the disposal of clear, brown or green glass. Glass suitable for recycling includes wine bottles, pasta sauce jars, jam/preserve jars, coffee jars, and cosmetic jars. Crystal and Pyrex are not suitable for recycling.
If you bring your glass to the recycling bin in a plastic bag it is imperative that you either put this in a bin or take it home with you as an increasingly common sight around recycling centres is the litter induced by consumers wanting to recycle but forgetting about the most basic principal of environmental awareness:
Do Not Litter!top
At present in Ireland aluminium cans are the most valuable in terms of recycling, as 95% of the energy needed to produce these cans from raw materials is saved. All drink cans are aluminium cans. Tins of food e.g. beans are not made from aluminium and should not be placed in these recycling bins.
Newspapers are especially bulky and every household seems to accumulate much waste from them. There are some measures you can take to dispose of this waste creatively. If you are creating a new garden you can put thick layers of newspapers on the ground, cover with a two inch layer of grass mowing to keep weeds down and eventually they will rot and decompose into the soil. This can be repeated every three months. It is also possible to buy a paper log maker. Store away papers for a few months and then during the summer you can make fire logs for the winter. Wasted but good quality paper can be used as scribbling pads, wrapping paper or animal bedding. Small amounts of shredded paper can be added to your compost heap. It is also possible to buy cards and paper made from recycled paper or from sustainable forests.
Remember recycling reduces our waste problems, it protects the environment and also creates jobs.
News 6th July 2001
At our meeting this week (July 3rd) we had a number of new members. It was decided to apply for funding to the Department of the Environment and Local Government from the Local Environmental Partnership Fund 2001 whose aims are similar to ours i.e. the promotion of Sustainable Development and Environmental Awareness. It hoped that we will organise an Environmental Awareness Week in Castlebar early in the New Year. During the summer months we intend to meet monthly and continue with our series of press releases. The next meeting is on Wednesday July 18th at 7.30pm in the Rural Training Centre, Westport Road (just off the Westport Rd. Roundabout) beside Castlebar Pitch and Putt. From September we will meet more regularly and hope to have a number of guest speakers at our meetings from such bodies as An Taisce, Duchas, Enfo, Coillte, Teagasc, Mayo Energy Agency, Mayo County Council, the Environmental Protection Agency, Tidy Towns, Regional Fisheries Board etc.
Castlebar Tidy Towns
Castlebar tidy Towns Committee have organised a clean up of the town each Monday night. All volunteers would be most welcome. Please assemble at Cathal Duffy's Garage at 8 p.m.
Connaught Resource Centre provides recycling facilities in Castlebar. They are located at Swimming Pool Road. They collect waste from industries in the area and make it available to Community groups, schools and crèches for art and craft purposes.
Connaught Resource Centre was granted funding of £3,300 from the Environmental Parternership Fund and they received matching funding from Mayo County Council.
Gerry Costelloe and Jude Walshe presented the Mayo County Council grant recently to the Centre from Mayo County Council.
For more information on Connaught Resource Centre contact Fionnualla at 094 29157.
Breaffy N.S. is being honoured this Wednesday in the offices of An Taisce for their ongoing commitment to environmental protection and awareness. Having participated in this initiative run by the Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe (FEEE) and facilitated by An Taisce. s Green Schools project, the school will be awarded a green flag by the Minister for Education and Science. This is the equivalent of a blue flag, which is awarded to beaches.
To achieve this environmental status, Breaffy N.S. have had to carry out a huge amount of planning and work. This involved doing an environmental audit of the grounds and the practices in the school in 1996 followed by a plan of action for waste management. A Green Schools committee was set up which consisted of eighteen children, two teachers, the principal and members of the community. To date their projects have included the recycling of cans, stamps, batteries, paper, cardboard, organic waste and greeting cards, as well as developing a school garden, butterfly patch and nature trail in the school grounds. Of course environmental awards are nothing new to the pupils and teachers of Breaffy N.S.
They have already won many ESB environmental awards and those organised by Mayo County Council. Besides these specific environmental projects, appreciation and care for the environment are an intrinsic part of the curriculum in Breaffy N.S. Their work is indeed commendable. Mayo County Council has supported this project and will assist the school in their . flag raising. ceremony planned for the end of June.