A journey of 1000 worms begins with one compost bin. (Apologies to Confucius!)

Faced with the challenge of how to get started with sustainability amidst a growing mass of sustainability ideas, initiatives and incentives, this question can seem overwhelming. We focussed on minimising waste and our journey began with one compost bin.

The critical area of waste in schools was particularly relevant to us with a growing enrolment of 600+. We established that if 600 students bring an apple a day, this was potentially 120,000 apple cores per school year that may end up as landfill but could be converted onsite to valuable compost, not to mention the great amount of Doctors that will be kept away!
The focus on compost led to a realisation that we could improve how we manage our paper waste. It then shifted to providing facilities for disposing of co-mingled recycling. We then realised how much cardboard we had been sending to landfill.
The fact emerged that the majority of waste in our landfill hopper was coming from the student’s homes. We implemented a Rubbish Free Lunch Day each Tuesday when our school canteen is closed, placing the onus for participation directly on our families.
The biggest constant throughout has been the need to refocus and re-engage the students to produce consistently better results in our pursuit of overall waste minimisation. Student Leadership combined with a hearty dose of imagination led to initiatives such as Litter Lotto, Lunch Box audits and an entry into the Rubbish Free Lunch Challenge 2008.
The result – we have negotiated a new deal with KS Environmental that commenced in January 2009 that includes one less hopper being emptied each week. This reduction of three cubic metres of landfill per week meets our initial target of reducing landfill by 50%!
The journey continues.
By St. Peter's Parish Primary School, Bentleigh East|2017-11-06T17:22:28+10:00April 29th, 2013|0 Comments
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