Trinity has replaced all its diesel-powered gardening equipment with solar-powered and soundless machines. College’s gardeners are now using the new equipment across campus.
Trinity gardeners will use the fuel-free gardening equipment throughout the College including the Rose Garden, Provost’s Garden, and in College Park and its pitches. Additional sites also include the ten acres of ground at St. James’s hospital as well as the Boat Clubhouse at Island Bridge where Trinity’s rowing takes place, and the College’s Botanic Gardens in Dartry, all of which amounts to 47 acres.
This follows a year-long trial, where gardeners have been introducing new tools to lessen the damage done to the local environment. These fuel-free tools will make college quieter and more environmentally friendly.
The new equipment includes solar-energy lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, leaf blowers, portable grass cutters, two solar charging units, and strimmers to cut CO2 and noise pollution. The new backpacks that will be used by the groundsmen will now have solar panels, while the new lawn mowers will cut back on waste by slicing the grass into smaller pieces and will be able to cut faster than an ordinary lawn mower. College will continue to introduce more environmentally friendly equipment after the trial.
The switch to fuel-free equipment is not College’s first move to make the campus more environmentally-friendly. Earlier this year, Trinity launched a Pollinator Plan, which saw the installation of a beehive that now houses tens of thousands of honey bees. Trinity, along with a network of other green areas in the city, is being used to restore urban sites that are important for a range of bee species and other organisms in the centre of Dublin.
Trinity is a green flag campus, having achieved its second green flag last April. Since then, Trinity has made many changes to take environmental issues, innovation and research from the academic departments and apply them to the day-to-day management of the grounds.
Trinity was also the first university in Ireland to divest fossil fuels, after a 15 month campaign led by Fossil Free TCD. Last November, College announced it was divesting from the €6.1 million it had directly invested in fossil fuel companies. Speaking to the Sunday Times, Ian Matthews, the College Treasurer, said: “Trinity wants to be a leader in sustainability, not only in investments, but in how it operates the campus.”