It’s lights out at council for Earth Hour

BANBRIDGE council is urging people across the district to do their bit for the environment by taking part in this year’s Earth Hour.

The lights at some of the council buildings will be switched off at 10am on Friday March 25, but Waste and Environmental Manager Barry Patience said more can be done.

“In addition to switching off the lights at some buildings, the council is committed to going beyond the hour and thinking about what else it can do to make a difference to reduce the district`s carbon footprint and to protect the earth’s valuable resources for future generations,” he said. “You too can do the same.

“It’s our responsibility to lead by example in promoting a cleaner and greener district, and we have demonstrated our ongoing commitment to continually improving the way in which we interact with the environment,” he added.

Mr Patience listed a number of examples by which he said the council has already tried to reduce its impace on the environment.

“We’ve achieved certification to the international ISO14001 Environmental Management System, switched from oil to natural gas in many council buildings and introduced policies for sustainable procurement and sustainable development,” he said.

“We discourage the overuse of vehicles by staff, recycle rainwater at Banbridge Leisure Centre and Banbridge Community Recycling Centre, service our vehicles and boilers regularly to help them run more efficiently, recycle all batteries, tyres and engine oil from our fleet of vehicles and no longer use detergents when washing vehicles - thus reducing the amount of chemicals released into the water system.

Sinn Fein council candidate Vincent McAleenan called on people to support the event.

“Council are leading by example and it is up to the rest of us to follow that example,” said the Town candidate.

“Although the official event takes place at 8.30 pm on March 26 Council are taking action on the previous day when their buildings are fully operational and this provides the rest of us with two opportunities to play a part in this very important campaign.”

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Earth Hour global campaign will officially take place on Saturday March 26 at 8.30pm.

Visit www.earthhour.org for more information.