Awareness & Education
Galway County Council’s Environment Awareness Programme is an integral part of the Business Plan of the Environment Section. Awareness information and material is delivered based on key environmental areas, namely, waste management, litter management, resource efficiency and general environmental messages. Information is delivered through community information sessions, community based programmes, schools programmes, promotional events, local events, websites, media and social media. The awareness programme takes account of new regulations, legislation and plans and develops awareness material accordingly.
In relation to waste management, the current key areas addressed include the promotion of good environmental practices, the collection of organic waste through brown bin service, waste prevention and food waste prevention. Specific waste collections are arranged on a continual basis and include collections for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), mobile household hazardous waste, and Christmas tree collections. In addition, specific collections arranged by other organisations are also supported and promoted including farm plastics collections organised by IFFPG.
Community waste prevention programmes are also run on an ongoing basis and are based on waste management and resource efficiency, waste prevention,food waste prevention and household hazardous waste prevention. Various targets have been set in the Connacht Ulster Regional Waste Management Plan 2015 – 2021 including an annual 1% reduction target for household waste. The implementation of waste prevention awareness programmes will assist in achieving this target.
Anti-litter initiatives are an ongoing element of the environmental awareness programme and include initiatives such as the National Spring Clean, the implementation of campaigns such as the gum litter campaign, dog fouling campaign, and a radio and cinema awareness campaign. The promotion of resource efficiency in the home and in business is another area covered in the environment awareness programme.
Information is continuously disseminated to householders and to the business sector on resource efficiency outlining both the economic and environmental benefits of resource efficiency. In addition relevant environmental information is delivered to the business sector.
The Green Schools programme is another key component of the Environmental Awareness Programme. Of the approximate 236 schools in County Galway, 218 are participants in the Green Schools programme. Areas covered in the programme include waste management, litter management, energy conservation, water conservation, biodiversity and global citizenship.
Other areas addressed in the current environmental awareness programme include green festivals, beaches, green coast, protection of water courses, environmental regulation and legislation.
Community engagement is also a key component of the environmental awareness programme. Community engagement takes places with tidy towns groups, voluntary groups, festival and event organisers, community groups, libraries and any other interested parties within communities.
Additional support is also available to Tidy Towns groups within the community all of whom are continuously working towards improving their local communities and improving year on year within the Tidy Towns programme. Groups are supported in relation to litter management and clean ups in the community, the preparation of sustainable waste and resource efficiency plans, delivery of seminars, workshops and other promotional events, liaising with green schools, promoting green business in the community and the delivery of waste programmes in the community. In additional to the numerous number of environmental information leaflets available, newspaper articles, local radio, cinema, websites and social media are also currently used to distribute and deliver environmental information.
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