Portree High takes part in SCOPE litter campaign


The Highland Council’s school litter project came to Skye last week with volunteers and local businesses getting behind the campaign at Portree High School.

Pupils and staff from Portree High School were joined by volunteers from the Community Council and Rotary Club, staff from the Co-op and MacIntyre’s Newsagents and The Highland Council at litter hotspots around the village to encourage school pupils to use litter bags and bins throughout the week.

In return for using the bins provided, pupils were given a token that they were asked to hand in to help their school reach a target total. Pupils who returned their tokens were also entered into a prize draw to win £10 cash prizes as incentives to reward pupils for disposing of their litter properly; these prizes were supplemented by vouchers kindly donated by The Co-op, MacKenzies Bakery, Macintyre’s Newsagents, The Fat Panda, Ewan MacRae West End Garage and Portree Filling Station.

In total, nearly 600 tokens were handed in by the pupils and the school will now receive £750 to spend on eco equipment or initiatives as part of the campaign. The local community will also receive up to £500 of funding to spend on eco equipment or initiatives for their involvement during the week.

Each afternoon the rubbish was analysed by groups of maths pupils, under the direction their teacher, Mr Murphy, and Phil Dewar from The Highland Council’s Waste Awareness Team, to obtain valuable data about waste generated at school lunch breaks.  Nearly 22 kg of waste was collected in the bins from the pupils over the week long campaign. This included 8.8kg of food waste – which was then diverted to the ‘Big Hanna’ composter at the High School; also 67 plastic bottles and 63 tin cans which were recycled.

The Scope Litter Campaign, which is being funded by Zero Waste Scotland as part of a Scotland wide trial, aims to reduce the amount of lunch time litter around secondary schools and to build links between the community, businesses and schools. 

Sheelagh Candy, Depute Head teacher said: “The school welcomed the involvement in such a worthwhile project. It was a really good opportunity for pupils to show they care about their local community – with a total of 80 pupils and a number of teaching staff volunteering to help during lunchtimes.”
She added, “The project linked well with the work of our school Eco Group and was very much in the spirit of Curriculum for Excellence providing opportunities for a range of follow up cross curricular work.”

30 Jan 2013