Special School Effort

Students and staff at Colac Specialist School are working to become an accredited Resource Smart School. The school took up the initiative last year and is excited about the changes that have already taken place and the prospect of what can be achieved over the next few years.

The student population of forty ranges in age from five to eighteen years old. The Secondary students have formed a voluntary group that meet regularly and have named themselves the Resource Rescuers. They collect all the paper and cardboard in the school to be recycled and deliver newspapers to the local vet to reuse in animal pens.
The Primary classes have their own light monitors and collect and sort the recycling before taking it to the local recycling centre. All rooms, including the staff room have specially marked bins for recycling glass, cans and plastic. The school community also collects batteries, stamps, corks, reading glasses and mobile phones for reuse and recycling purposes. In 2007 the school won the Regional award for the most mobiles collected for the Mobile Muster program.
With the introduction of food scrap buckets, the school composts most of its food waste while some goes home to chooks. A new indoor compost bucket is being trialled in the Secondary kitchen and will take all food scraps including meat, bread and cheese. By the end of the year, students and staff will be able to decide for themselves which system works best for them.
Late last year the school installed two large rainwater tanks supplying water to toilets, laundry, hot house, shade house and vegie garden. Traditionally, the Secondary students have worked in the horticulture program growing their own vegetables and seedlings in the hot house and using the produce in their weekly cooking and canteen programs. The green house is a productive place with a wide range of propagated plants established over time to sell to the public at our annual Garage Sale. A native plant garden was established last year to use for propagating purposes. The Primary students are developing their own vegetable garden this year in an area of their playground that is underutilized.
This term, three staff completed a two day course at TAFE to increase their skills and knowledge in relation to sustainable gardens. We are looking forward to developing this concept with a whole school plan which could change our established practices in this area.
We held our first rubbish free function this term at our annual family picnic night. Families were invited to bring their own utensils instead of using disposable plates and cups and everyone took their rubbish home. We have introduced the concept of rubbish free lunches through our fortnightly newsletter and beginning term 2, packaging from student lunch boxes will go home if it cannot be reused, recycled or composted. We have some whole school nude lunch days scheduled next term as well. We have seen a significant reduction in the amount of rubbish we are putting into landfill this year with two wheely bins instead of the usual four being picked up by the Council each week. Staff and students are very proud of their efforts so far.
By Colac Specialist School|2017-11-06T17:15:45+10:00April 25th, 2013|0 Comments
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