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College Eco Committee Tackles Littering with Babbling Bins

An innovative project by South Eastern Regional College’s (@S_ERC) Eco Committee is set to be the talk of Lisburn – the next time you dispose of your litter in one of the new ‘Babbling Bins’ you will hear a thank you message for choosing to dispose of your rubbish responsibly. The bins can be found in the College’s Lisburn Campus and Translink’s bus and railway stations in the city.

The Eco Committee, supported by the College’s Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Environment team, secured a £3000 grant through the Live Here Love Here Small Grants Scheme, run by environmental charity Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. The Small Grants Scheme aims to financially support community-based environmental projects across Northern Ireland that help to develop and maintain a cleaner, greener and safer place to live and is supported in the area by Lisburn City & Castlereagh Council (LCCC) and Northern Ireland Housing Executive.

Lizzie Buick, Deputy Head of the Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and Environment team said, “The Eco Committee was keen to encourage the community in SERC and beyond to dispose of litter correctly and to recycle when possible. Their new suite of receptacles includes recycling bins and five babbling bins fitted with sensors that trigger recorded messages when rubbish is disposed in them such as: ‘Can it for a better planet’ and ‘give a hoot, don’t pollute’.

She added, “The grant supported a collegewide awareness of tackling waste thorough a competition for staff and students to come up with messages – kindly recorded by performing arts students – and 8 students created artwork which will be displayed in panels fixed to the standard recycling bins including Eco Committee Green Champion, Mollie Richardson (Lisburn), a Level 3 Media student whose designs will appear on the talking bins.  

Nicola Fitzsimons, Live Here Love Here Community Development Officer said, “It was great to see the innovative project come to life through funding provided by the Small Grants Scheme and creative work of the students. It will be exciting to see the babbling bins in public spaces where people can hear the bins speak by correctly disposing of their litter.”

A group of electrical engineering students at SERC are hoping to develop the project and are looking into adapting standard recycling bins to incorporate recycling messages.

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