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Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what initiatives are in place to promote recycling awareness in primary schools in Northern Ireland. (87130)

Significant progress has been made across all sectors to integrate resource and waste management into the teaching curriculum for Northern Ireland primary schools.

The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS)'s Wake Up to Waste awareness programme is providing targeted resources (including lesson plans, games and activities) for teachers that enable resource and waste management to be tied into the everyday teaching of all key stage groups. In addition, this approach is supplemented by the qualified teachers employed at each of the EHS's Environmental Education Centres across Northern Ireland, who have integrated waste education into their teaching programme.

District councils have waste management education officers, who visit primary schools on a regular basis, raising awareness of how to prevent and recycle waste. In March 2006, EHS launched its Waste Education Resource Pack to provide support, guidance and practical tools for these officers.

Non-governmental organisations funded by EHS also provide education officers to deliver waste education programmes in primary schools throughout Northern Ireland over the next three years.