In 2022 SPS has been hard at work making a positive impact on our environment through our waste reduction programs. We launched our Rubbish Rebels and Waste Free Warriors program which encouraged individuals and whole classes to bring zero waste in their lunchboxes every day. Students tallied their rubbish over a week and the lowest score wins our prestigious golden bin Rubbish Rebels trophy. Individual Waste Free Warriors receive a recycled newspaper pencil.
We have dug in our new composting SubPods and students are very keen to see these filled with food scraps and wriggling worms.
Guided by our Resource Smart waste module students engaged in several waste activities that formed our understanding of the need to reduce our schools landfill waste contribution. At the beginning of the year most classrooms had a landfill bin, composting caddy and paper reuse tub – these were not used efficiently, and often organic waste and recyclable items ended up in landfill. Students conducted a waste audit toward the end of the Term 1 to identify how far we had progressed from the start of the year. It was so pleasing to see every classroom utilizing our new composting caddies, a comingled recycling tub and a very empty landfill bin (in most cases). We have also rolled out a Red Cycle (soft plastics) collection for our staffroom where teachers can correctly dispose of waste and further reduce our landfill contribution. Our landfill data has dropped from 0.22 m3 in 2020 to 0.15 m3 and while Covid and remote learning contributed to this reduction we are confident we can achieve, or beat our target of 0.10m3 in 2022.
We aren’t done yet though – we have an ambitious target of zero waste to landfill by 2025. We are going to achieve this by developing a waste sorting facility within our school where we collect hard to recycle items such as batteries, pens, markers and crayons, since in school we have a lot of these things. We have a battery recycling area already and students are so excited to bring their batteries from home to add to our collection.
Our local Woolworths takes our soft plastics each week from icy poles on a Friday and staff room soft plastics. The local Aldi store collects our batteries and Officeworks takes our pens and markers. Our community is excellent at supporting our initiatives and we can’t wait to roll out more programs that not only build a better school but also wider community.