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Greens School Committee
Green Schools Committee visit Ringsend Water Treatment Facility
On the Thursday the 22nd of March the Gonzaga Green Schools Committee embarked on a trip to the Ringsend Water Treatment Facility. There was a total on eight committee members on the trip ranging from 1st to 4th year. We were also accompanied by Ms. S. McNamara (The College Librarian) and Ms. B. Rooney (The College Administrator).
At 10:15 we let class and departed from the school to Ringsend. When we arrived we were given a very detailed presentation by Mr. Paddy Higgins about the history of water treatment and the history of the facility. He also explained about how water treatment works in Ringsend and then gave us a tour of the facility.
Firstly sludge has the large objects removed such as grit and other large objects. Grease, fats and oils are also removed at this point. The solids are then separated from the liquid at this point. The solids or sludge are converted into a fertilizer by use of heat and gas. There is also a byproduct gas from this process which accounts for 40% of the facilities energy.
The water is then stored in a variety of different tanks to allow remaining smaller
solids to gather at the bottom of the tanks. There is also oxygen added at a later
stage to further clean it. Whilst in these tanks there are micro-
At the end of the process there completely clean water pumped into the sea and a byproduct of a fertilizer. There are no harmful byproducts from the sewage. The facility is very environmentally friendly and the Dublin Bay Project is one which allows for water to be treated to the maximum possible level.
In conclusion the trip was very enjoyable and insightful. At this point I would like to thank Ms. Rooney and Ms. McNamara for bringing us on the trip and Barry Mulvey for organizing it.
Mark Finn, S3A
On Thursday the 29th of March, the members of the Green schools committee once again
set forth upon a school tour. The eleven of us ventured, this time, to the vast IKEA
centre. We departed at 10:15 and travelled there by coach.
When we arrived we were met by the IKEA sustainability manager for the environmentally
friendly measures taken by the Dublin branch of the company. He delivered a very
explanatory presentation on the steps taken by IKEA to ensure fair trade, well-
Once our guide had finished giving his talk about his work in the company, we were treated to a meal in their restaurant. During this time to ourselves we were able to see the measures IKEA had taken to become more efficient and environmentally friendly, first hand. We were also each offered some complimentary pencils as we left. Having finished our lunch we found our way out of the shop and back to our bus.
In short, the trip successfully demonstrated to us the requirements of a company
such as IKEA in order to improve our planets pollution levels. We were also impressed
by their work in human rights. The tour was very helpful and I would like to thank
both IKEA and those within the school who organised it.
Laurence Childs 3B
The Green Schools Committee
Green Schools is an international project. It aims towards a more sustainable future.
In Ireland it is run by An Taisce. It awards Green Flags to schools for their environmental
More information can be found at;
The Gonzaga Green Committee originally started as a Third year CSPE action project
led by Mr. O’Connor. When people noticed that this could greatly effect the school’s
carbon emissions and energy waste and so on, they started a committee consisting
of staff, students, The Headmaster and maintenance staff.
The first Chairperson and Secretary were Hugh O’Flanagan and Ben McRedmond, both
in S3A in the year 2007.
Since then the Committee has been awarded 3 Green Flags. The first we received was Litter and Waste, followed by Energy and most recently Water.
We are now starting work once again towards the next Green Flag: Transport.
Recently the Chairperson and Secretary, Will Dunleavy and Barry Mulvey, stepped down. Pádraig Sheehy S2D and I have taken on the roles.
This year was an extremely productive one. Students and staff both worked very hard to achieve the Green Flag. I hope that we can achieve the same goals and be just as productive.
Neil O’Flanagan S2C
Green Schools Committee Secretary.
Gonzaga was awarded its third green flag on Monday 20 May for its work on reducing water usage.
Photograph shows Green Schools committee members William Dunleavy,
Padraic Sheehy and
with the flag at Croke Park, where the awards ceremony took place.
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