Council comes up trumps in Keep Scotland Beautiful awards
Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 19:25 GMT on Tuesday 5th March, 2013.

NORTH Lanarkshire Council has come up trumps in the latest ‘Awards for Excellence’ ceremony, by the Keep Scotland Beautiful campaign.

The local authority was declared as the winner of the ‘Support for Communities’ award, for their School Litter Reduction Initiative.

The council’s Environmental Protection Team designed a litter reduction campaign for all primary schools to promote a responsible attitude towards litter and encourage schools to participate in organising their own litter picks. They also engaged with secondary schools over the issue of littering and the impact that it has on the local environment and the immediate community.  The project first started in the autumn of 2010 and is still evolving with further work still to be undertaken.

A Litter Reduction Working Group was set up to promote litter reduction around primary and secondary schools; work with partners to create and deliver an educational message; raise public awareness in relation to the school litter reduction message; offer presentations to all primary schools within North Lanarkshire; interact with secondary schools to encourage litter reduction; purchase and facilitate the use of litter picking kits for school children; develop two DVD’s for primary school and secondary school audiences; land Management to provide statistics in relation to worst secondary schools for quantities of litter dropped.

As project of the initiative, the council ran the Secondary School golden ticket competition, whereby the production of two DVD’s, aimed at specific age groups between Primary 4 to Primary 7 and first and second year secondary pupils with the slogan of NL Litter were commission. The primary school DVD was animated and a secondary school aged pupil presented the secondary school DVD. 

Every primary school was offered a small presentation along with the DVD by an Environmental Protection Officer who would then undertake a 10 minute question and answer session.  The school would be offered the chance at a later date to book litter pick kits and be encouraged to carry out a clean up.  A banner would be developed which could be hung over the school railings at the time of the litter pick to promote the event.  The DVD’s would be left with the school for use at any time and to refresh the message. 

The outcomes of the projects were that 70 out of 121 primary schools have been visited and received DVD and presentation; 7 out of 21 secondary schools have undertook to incorporate DVD into a teaching session as part of Personal Social Health Education; 8 Primary Schools have organised their own litter pick using our kits with requests still coming in; publicity has been achieved in local newspapers on several occasions; feedback from schools that have participated has been very positive; promotional  posters and materials developed and distributed to all schools and displayed in many council buildings

Local authority, North Lanarkshire Council took home the award from the independent charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, at a prestigious awards ceremony in improving local environments, at a glitzy ceremony, in Edinburgh, late last month.

Colin Bayes, board member and trustee of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “These awards recognise the very best in working practises to improve the local environment across Scotland. In so many ways, those nominated have brought innovation and commitment to the task of making Scotland a cleaner place.”

The awards are made to celebrate success across the charity’s People and Places Partnership, which aims to improve the cleanliness and quality of the environment on publicly accessible land in Scotland. The awards formed the conclusion of the Keep Scotland Beautiful conference, and were as hotly contested as ever.

The ceremony took place after a civic reception in Edinburgh City Council Chamber, hosted by Bailie Elaine Aitken. The prize-winners received their awards from Keep Scotland Beautiful board member and trustee, Colin Bayes, and the environmental campaigner and KSB ambassador, Heather Suttie.

Colin added: “I commend the award winners, and am determined that their creative flair and determination to succeed will result in even higher standards across our country.”

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