It was a sunny day on Friday 28th October, when the Year 9 Environmental Science students embarked upon an excursion to learn all about waste and recycling and the environmental impacts it has on us and the world.
The first place we visited was the old Narre Warren Landfill, which has now become a gas fuelled power station. There we learnt how the power station uses the land from the landfill to generate electricity. It collects and converts the methane released from the old landfill and machines inside the power station turn it into electricity for over 40,000 homes. The workers further explained to us how the power station works and told us about how our hard rubbish and daily trash ends up in the rubbish tip and landfills before being recycled into electricity. We left with an insightful understanding about how our rubbish is renewed and recycled.
The next stop was a place called REPLAS in Carrum Downs. This company utilises materials such as old plastic bags and other soft plastic items and turns it into benches and tables that you can find in local parks and along the beach. The tour guides informed us about how they take our everyday rubbish and recycle and reuse it. Companies such as Coles and Woolworths have special bins in stores, where customers can dispose of their old and used plastic bags. From there, the bags are transported to REPLAS in Ballarat where they go through a process which recycles them and turns the bags into these small plastic pellets. REPLAS stores then manufactures park benches and other items of furniture using these tiny pellets. We marvelled at this wonderful way to reuse and recycle plastic bags and were informed that it is a very environmentally friendly process too.
Our last stop for the day was the SUEZ Landfill in Hampton Park, where majority of our rubbish ends up. The guide educated us about how they separate the rubbish that is collected and get rid of it and how any liquids that run off from the rubbish get taken care of and are properly disposed. We were even lucky enough to get a private tour of the site where we got to see the excavators preparing a new landfill for more garbage and waste to occupy. We were also taken to a leachate pond which is where the liquid waste is processed and any chemicals are removed before the content goes into the waste tunnels. Getting to see what a landfill is like was certainly one of the highlights of the day.
After all the exciting tours, we made our way back to school with much more knowledge than at the start of the day. It was certainly an insightful and interesting experience which increased our awareness about recycling and environmental sustainability and an excursion that we are sure to remember.
Year 9 Environmental Science student