Monard National School

Monard N.S. is a small primary school based in Monard, Co. Tipperary with six teachers and 69 students in attendance. They were awarded the Green Flag for Litter & Waste in 2016 after reducing the amount of waste being sent to landfill by 40%.

Step 1: Green-Schools Committee

The Green-Schools committee consists of student representatives from junior infants right up to 6th class. Names were put in a jar and raffled. The committee meet monthly and are fortunate to also have a parent and community representative, the school cleaner, groundskeeper and principal! After meetings, students bring back information to their classes, and Information is displayed on the Green Schools Notice board.

Step 2. Environmental Review

The Green Schools Committee carried out all essential actions outlined in the Green-Schools handbook. In addition Litter mapping was carried out to identify any black Spots. General littering was not an issue in the school grounds however two litter black spots were identified; hazardous litter by the shed {broken glass, bottles, cans, tree roots}.The second area contained litter blown in from the street or dumped from the street. The schools main finding was that litter from outside the school was their biggest problem.

The bin company was contacted to retrieve the figures for the amount of waste sent to landfill the previous year. Prior to the review, no recycling was carried out in the school. They found:

  • 5 kgs of waste were sent to landfill in 2013
  • No recycling of waste paper
  • Classroom waste was going into one big bin
  • Bins were full of waste paper hand towels
  • Compost bin present but contamination was a big problem-eg yogurt pots were going into the compost bin
  • Children and staff were not sure about what could be recycled and about what should be put into the compost bin

Step 3: Action Plan

Monard N.S set two action plans, one for each year of working on Litter & Waste. Successful actions included:

  • Reduce landfill waste by 20%
  • Contact waste company to get recycling bin
  • Set up a three bin system in all the classrooms
  • Eliminate paper hand towel waste
  • Reduce the use of photocopy paper by 50%
  • Day of Action Litter Pick up and General Tidy Up
  • Set up a compost bin system, put up easy read composting posters around the school & talk to each class about composting
  • Collect all our shredded paper for animal bedding
  • Recycle waste paper into booklets for Art and notes
  • Get battery recycling boxes for around the school
  • Junior and Senior Infants to recycle our 2L plastic bottle to make a Greenhouse recycle yogurt pots to grow bulbs
  • Recycle all bottle caps & lids to do a Giant Art Project
  • Establish a wormery
  • Make a robot scarecrow from recycled material

Step 4: Monitoring and Evaluation

Monard N.S successfully implemented an efficient recycling and composting system reducing the amount of general waste they were producing by 40%, a fantastic achievement! To eliminate litter blackspots, litter squads regularly schedule litter pickups around the school grounds. Each class rotates the responsibility of ‘Litter Squad’ and maintains a tally of the litter picked up including the type of litter recording the results to display on the Green Schools Notice Board.

Three bin monitors are appointed in each class and rotated to promote whole school involvement. The bin monitors empty the classroom bins daily and report any issues with the bins to the Green-Schools representative in their class. Green-Schools Committee members also do spot checks on classroom bins. Gardening groups do regular checks on compost bins and disclose if correct materials are being put in the compost bins.

At committee meetings the team evaluate any programmes running to combat litter around the school and discuss if and how they can be improved. The Green-Schools suggestion box is brought to each meeting to evaluate and implement any suggestions or improvements.

Step 5: Curriculum Links

Some examples of the schools curriculum links include:

Geography and Science

  • Junior and Senior Infants: Caring for my locality: sharing the environment, local environment


  • 1st and 2nd Class: Map of school grounds
  • Environment, Developing a sense of responsibility


  • All Classes: Sending e-mails, filling in pdf application form, typing up meetings

Environmental Awareness & Care

  • 2nd & 3rd class: What is habitat?, mini beasts, school garden, food in season
  • Research skills: Committee research wormeries, Green Schools, recycling, composting


  • All: Environmental awareness & care: Observe, discuss & appreciate our local environment
  • Appreciate the people share the environment with plant & animal life
  • Develop a sense of responsibility for taking care of & improving the environment
  • Identify, discuss & implement simple strategies for improving & caring for the environment


  • 4th Class-6th: Assimilating data on waste


  • 3rd – 6th Class: Teamwork, leadership, communication, green-schools committee

Step 6: Informing and Involving

The school informed and involved the whole school and local community in the following ways:

  • The Green schools notice board is regularly updated by the Green schools committee. It includes posters and information on recycling and other projects, like the plastic bottle green house & bottle cap collections
  • The Green schools committee members give feed back to their class after each meeting
  • Newsletters go home to keep parents updated and informed
  • Class bin monitors are rotated every week so all children get a turn
  • Green-Schools suggestion box, all children feel their opinion is valued
  • ‘Top Tip of the week’ on the notice board, each class come up with a tip each week
  • All children take part in litter pick up squads
  • All children take part in gardening activities to enhance the school grounds.

Step 7: Green Code

The Green Code is recited every morning in class and displayed on their Green-Schools notice board and also published on their blog:

What do you do, What do you do,

When paper comes to you, When paper comes to you,

Reduce Reuse Recycle, Reduce Reuse Recycle.


What do you do, What do you do,

When plastic comes to you, When plastic comes to you,

Reduce Reuse Recycle, Reduce Reuse Recycle.


What do you do, What do you do,

When cans come to you, When cans come to you,

Reduce Reuse Recycle, Reduce Reuse Recycle.


Don’t wrap it in plastic, that would be fantastic,

Reduce Reuse Recycle, Reduce Reuse Recycle.


Pull up your socks put the sandwich in the box,

Reduce Reuse Recycle, Reduce Reuse Recycle.


With those new green feelings gather up those compost peelings,

Reduce Reuse Recycle, Reduce Reuse Recycle.



“Children have thrived when given extra responsibility. Children were learning throughout each step of the programme. Children developed good environmental awareness that will ensure they will develop positive environmental awareness as adults. Children and school forged positive links & involvement with local community ”

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