Northern Ireland school draws warmth from waste

When it comes to pioneering spirit, it’s not just entrepreneurs who have it in abundance! There is plenty of sustainable innovation going on in education, as one school has proved.

Dungannon Integrated College, in Northern Ireland, will save itself £40,000 per year and cut its carbon emissions by 200 tonnes through its “Project SCool”, which involves partnership work with a large packaging company, Greiner Packaging Ltd.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the school will take refuse from the company, which employs over 3000 staff at 34 sites, and use it to produce heating. The project has been funded with £58,000 from Northern Ireland’s Department of Education. John O’Dowd, the Education Minister, said:

“With the rising cost of energy, it is imperative that renewable alternatives are sought and fully utilised whenever possible.

“Project SCool is a practical example of innovative thinking and investment that will also lead to shared financial and environmental benefits for both Dungannon Integrated College and Greiner Packaging.”

At Recycling Lives, we are pleased to learn about this partnership between the school and the packaging company. Whilst burning waste may not be the most environmentally friendly method of disposal, it is certainly better than burning non-waste materials and sending waste to landfill. The outcome – the school being provided with heating – is also a useful one!

Our social business is similarly dedicated to forging partnerships with other agencies, including schools, to enable environmentally sustainable projects to come to fruition. We have also developed innovative production techniques to make useful products out of waste materials: beams from waste plastic, and tiles from glass.

All of our social business practices are carried out with Corporate Social Responsibility in mind. In addition to working for the benefit of the environment, we ensure that we engage with the local community, boosting the economy by adding social value. We offer “business incubators” to start-ups, enabling them to access fairly priced office facilities and mentoring.

Our commercial activities also sustain our social welfare charity, which supports homeless people to find work and accommodation. Through following the charity’s six-stage support plan, Residents transform their lives through training and employment opportunities, regaining their independence.

We also offer advice and guidance to communities on sustainability, as well as assisting businesses to increase their own Corporate Social Responsibility. The simplest way for a company to boost their social value is to hire us for their waste management and recycling needs. If this appeals to your organisation, contact us!