Regional

Mount Airy Primary and Infant School tops recycling competition

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, December 14, 2017

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NEGRIL, Westmoreland — Mount Airy Primary and Infant School recently copped two coveted awards in the Ministry of Tourism Negril Recycling competition.

Some 16 participating primary and secondary schools across Hanover and Westmoreland were also presented with certificates of participation during the awards ceremony held at Royalton Negril, last Friday.

There were three award categories – high school, primary school, and overall winner.

However, it was Mount Airy Primary and Infant School that walked away with two of the awards in the primary category, as well as being adjudged the overall winner.

“When we heard that we won, everyone was in the air jumping for joy. I mean, everyone was in the air,” said the school's head girl Danielle McKenzie.

“I felt great. Everyone else felt great, because the hard work really paid off, because if we didn't go around the place to collect bottles, we wouldn't have this victory right now.”

Similar sentiments were expressed by the school's environmental teacher Pamela Daley.

“The entire school was really, really happy. It was like Christmas,” added Daley, who could hardly contain her emotions.

She pointed out that the entire school – including the four-year-olds in the Infant Department – participated in the used bottles collection drive.

Young McKenzie said collecting plastic bottles was “an enjoyable, not a difficult activity”.

“It was fun. Just going around the neighbourhood and all around the area collecting bottles was a lot of fun. It wasn't hard. I really had fun, so if they want to have another competition again, I am ready,” she said.

The grade six student also had words of advice for other students.

“Recycling can save many lives, including the Jamaican Swallowtail butterfly. Recycling can save us – me and you – because it saves planet Earth, and I hope everyone will join in.”

For their efforts, Mount Airy Primary and Infant School won a video projector, a 59-inch television, a printer, scanner and a copier, along with certificates.

Second place in the primary school category went to Negril All-Age, while the third place was awarded to Revival All-Age. The winning schools in this category are all located in Westmoreland.

In the high school category, first place went to Godfrey Stewart High School in Westmoreland, while Rhodes Hall High School in Hanover copped the second prize.

Earlier this year, the tourism ministry launched the recycling competition in recognition of the year 2017 being declared the 'Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development' by the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

At the end of the contest, which was funded by the TEF, over 7,000 pounds of bottles were collected.

Meanwhile, executive director of the Tourism Product Development Company Dr Andrew Spencer, who delivered the keynote address, in encouraging the participants to continue the “good work”, noted that the ministry hopes to continue the programme.

“I encourage you to continue to do your work. And this partnership is one that will continue. This is something that the Ministry of Tourism wants to sustain and to take into the future. We hope for it to be a programme that will have some sustainability for years to come,” Dr Spencer stressed.

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