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Joint initiative tackles litter at Kilmarnock Academy

Kilmarnock Academy has joined forces with the Council’s Corporate Enforcement Unit and Police Scotland to tackle littering.

The Eco Committee, namely Kirsten, Ruth and Jamie from S6 with their teachers Mrs Noakes and Miss Saunders, recognised that there was littering in some areas around the school campus, particularly at lunchtime.

They started a campaign to reduce littering that involved young people from all age groups within the school. They developed and delivered assemblies using the presentation produced as part of the East Ayrshire Litter in School initiative to encourage everyone to think about the impact of littering on the environment and the consequences, including being issued with a fixed penalty notice. They led litter-picking events within the school and worked closely with the local community on litter initiatives.  

And they didn’t stop there. The team approached the CEU and campus cop PC Jennifer Scade who were delighted to support their efforts. Joint patrols have been taking place at lunchtime with a focus on education. Plans are also in place to reward young people who recycle their waste and don’t litter through a partnership with Kilmarnock Football Club who have offered match day tickets as a reward and the school’s café is also looking at rewards for young people who don’t litter.

Recycling and reducing litter has been a big part of the Eco Committee’s work and they have looked for new ways to increase recycling within their school including extending recycling to communal areas.

Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Roads and Transport and Community Cohesion said: “I was delighted to hear about the joint initiative at Kilmarnock Academy and to find out more about our young people who are seeking solutions to tackle littering at their school. They have shown great drive and determination to launch their own campaign and maturity to seek support from the Corporate Enforcement Unit and Police Scotland.

“The CEU and Police Scotland are supporting their efforts by carrying out joint patrols and are encouraging our young people to act responsibly. They also have an excellent partnership with Kilmarnock Football Club who are keen to reward our young people, who don’t litter, with match day tickets. Partnership working is definitely the most effective way to tackle environmental crime.”

Councillor Sally Cogley, Chair of the Council’s Clean, Green and Vibrant Member Officer Working Group said: “It is fantastic that the young people of Kilmarnock Academy are focused on improving their environment and reducing littering around their school.

"The East Ayrshire Litter in Schools initiative was developed in partnership with education, enforcement and a cross party, cross ward group of elected members along with council officers. The genesis of this work was Loudoun Academy and the primary schools of the Irvine Valley.

"I am so proud that this initiative is taking a life of its own and is now capable of being rolled out into all East Ayrshire schools. Indeed, in due course, we look forward to sharing it with Keep Scotland Beautiful and from there, other schools throughout Scotland.

"One of the objectives was to encourage positive change now and in the future. I am delighted that the initiative has inspired this group of young people to take action and that our resources have been used so effectively to encourage children and young people within the Campus not to litter.

“It is essential that our children and young people understand that they have a choice to protect their environment and that their actions can make a huge difference. We can create change with small steps and we all have the power to make change happen.”