Mayo County Council have been encouraged to honour a Charlestown school in recognition of their environmental achievements after receiving their sixth Green Flag.
Cloonlyon National School in Charlestown has been in the Green Flag programme for the past 12 years and was the first national school in Mayo to be presented with a Green Flag. The schools environmental achievements were highlighted at last week’s SPC meeting on the Environment where it was explained that they have now received six Green Flags.
Cllr Peter Flynn, the Chairman of the SPC congratulated the school on their success and said such an achievement should be recognised by the council.
“Cloonlyon NS has been in the programme for 12 years and it is a great story to be told. We should give them a separate recognition for being pioneers for the county and recognise the work they have done,” he said.
Sharon Cameron, Environmental Protection Officer with Mayo County Council, agreed that it would be nice to recognise the school’s achievements. She said there is a quarry near the school which made it difficult for them to walk to school but after much persuasion the children managed the quarry to change their practices to allow them to walk and cycle to and from school.
At present there are 173 schools in Mayo involved in the Green Flag Programme and 131 schools have Green Flags, which are renewed every two years. The programme is co-ordinated by Sharon Cameron who has been in charge of environmental awareness in Mayo for ten years.
Her work and innovation in getting the public to change their attitude to the environment was praised by the members of the SPC. The initiatives and campaigns she has highlighted include the disposal of takeaway wrappers, recycling of batteries, WEEE recycling events and the disposal of cigarette butts.
She described cigarette butts as a ‘menace’ and the biggest cause of litter in the county. She said people do not see it as littering and people who would not throw away a crisp bag would not think before flicking away a butt.
She said that there are 2,000 chemicals in cigarette butts which take over 15 years to disintegrate and one butt can pollute eight litres of water within one hour.