In It to Bin It – Athy Group


Claire Cunningham and Melissa Dormer Lewis are two Tús participants that have joined together to support a group of young Transition Students from Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Athy.

In it to Bin It Athy was a  programme initially the brainchild of Mick Begley and Brian Kenny, the Two Tús supervisors in the Athy area.  In 2018/2019 pre Covid and  following an evaluation by Brian and Mick regarding litter, recycling, upcycling and other eco issues, (where Tús participants collecting waste had increased from two to twelve over a number of years), it was decided that participants had to do something more proactive about dealing with litter in Athy.

The team decided that only a change of mindset could address this issue and set up the initiative

“In It To Bin It” A programme with two Tús participants working with two secondary level students that were taking part in Transition Year, in Athy’s Scoil Phádraig Naofa. It was envisaged that the students could incorporate the new programme into some of their projects and help with the setting up of promotional events such as,

  1. Recycling

  2. Upcycling

  3. Reusable Coffee Cups and Water Bottles.

  4. Presentations to Kildare Co. Council Management and Elected members in the ÁRAS in Naas and community groups in Athy.

  5. Working with National School children in Athy to ensure maximum awareness of the programme within with the community.

  6. Liaising with Midlands Radio, KFM Radio and local media.

I met with Claire and Melissa this week in Athy as they accompanied the In It To Bin it Team, into the local National School, Scoil Mhicil Naofa.

The young women had decided to conduct an educational presentation, on the proper way to recycle, upcycling and creating LESS waste. They also decided to make bird feeders with the primary school students and challenge them to a litter task, in which they had to segregate waste properly. The culmination of the day was inviting the primary school children to get involved in a local competition which they would get to design their own litter bin cover , which would be displayed on the bins in Athy. This really appealed to the younger ones once they had seen some of the animated designs the young women had in their presentation, so Imagination knows no bounds!

Then morning was extremely successful, and the Tús participants Claire and Melissa supported the young ladies through a very well organised and presented morning . The children were delighted with their bird feeders and the teachers remarked that the whole event was well organised and executed.

Claire remarked: I would never get to do anything like this, Tús has given me such a boost and I love helping the girls it’s great to see them being so brave and talking in front of the children.

Melissa also said : ” it’s great to be part of something that is so good for the environment and to be able to help and mentor the young women as they spread their message of eco-friendly , recycling and upcycling is great. They all have such passion for the programme, and we really want to help them make it succeed”.

As well as sharing the photos of the day – the ladies from Scoil Phádraig Naofa also made a video on the day promoting the competition !

Here it is :

The Tús programme Athy is hugely successful with many participant engaged in community organisations across the town.

To find out more about TÚS, and the TÚS Programme check out their page on COunty Kildare LEADER Partnership’s Website here :