Once again Lisburn City Council has left the annual NILGA Local Government Awards a winner.
This year the winning entry was the Council’s ‘Schools Zero Food Waste Project’, which encourages schools to reduce the amount of food waste going to landfill.
The NILGA Awards showcase the best examples of service provision, new initiatives and personal commitment from both Elected Members and Officers. They show public recognition while awarding excellence in frontline local government public services.
This innovative project managed by the Council’s Waste Management Section currently involves 80% of primary and post-primary schools across the Council area.
Councillor Jenny Palmer, Chairman of the Council’s Environmental Services Committee, speaking about the award success, said: “It is fantastic news for the Council to have won a coveted NILGA Award for its sustainable waste management project at this year’s event in the La Mon Hotel. This project involved Lisburn City Council proactively introducing a food waste collection service for schools.
“I would like to congratulate all the staff who work on this project from management to the waste collection crews. Their assistance in helping local schools to save the environment and money at a time when budgets are in demand is commendable.
“The project’s main aim is to have zero food waste going to landfill from schools. To encourage participation a reduced collection charge for food waste was agreed by the Council. As well as collecting food waste from schools the Council also collected the waste from eight South Eastern Education and Library Board meal kitchens. In addition to knowing their food waste was being used to produce compost rather than going to landfill, the schools were also able to reduce their residual waste collection needs and save money by diverting to the lower cost food waste collection,” she concluded.
Lisburn City Council aims to bring all schools on to the project by the end of the current school year. There are plans to develop a leaflet for pupils in participating schools enabling them to bring the sustainable waste management message home to other family members.
Councillor Palmer added: “It is very important to educate the next generation of citizens to ensure they understand the important part they can play in keeping environmental costs low within the area; and also how they can reduce their household running costs in terms of food.
“Through this project just under 11,000 pupils are now recycling their food waste. On average two tonnes of food waste is being collected weekly from these schools. This participation rate exceeds the initial target of having 50% of schools participating by February 2014. The Council looks forward to welcoming the remaining 20% of schools on to the project later this year.”