School Name: Moolap Primary School
Date: May 2017
Authors: Year 5/6 ECOLeaders
Number of people involved: 114
When did this story start? This story started after our waste audit in 2017 when we realised that many of our younger students from years prep-2 were incorrectly placing rubbish in the wrong bins.
What was the problem/issue school identified? We realised that these students did not understand how to correctly dispose of their rubbish. This was resulting in some of our paper recycling waste being contaminated and plastics being placed in our compost bins.
What goals did school set?
Our first goal was to educate. We decided that it was up to the ECOLeaders to educate students in the junior school. We thought the best way to do this was to hold some mini-workshops for each classroom. That way, we could make sure they knew where their bins were and we could test them by asking them where they would place plastics, paper, fabric and food.
Our second goal was to create better labelling for our bins. In conducting our workshops two teachers suggested that younger students might benefit from having pictures of what they were allowed to place in each bin. We thought this was a great idea and created labels.
Our third goal was to reduce our landfill and/or contaminate recycling. This is a longer term thing which we will do in liaison with our Business Manager, Ms Egan, who will tell us our monthly costs and discuss recycling contamination with Corio Waste.
Why was this problem/issue important to the school community?
• If our recycled paper waste is contaminated, Corio Waste will send our entire container to landfill and nothing will be recycled.
• If our younger students do not know how to recycle, our worm farms will not have enough food and our gardens will not be fertilised by worm juice or from rich organic matter in our composted soil.
• If recyclable and compostable waste keeps going to landfill, our School will need to pay more money for rubbish disposal which could be spent on education.
What did we do?
We organised a timetable with junior school teachers during which we could visit each classroom and talk to students. Jemma introduced the talk and said why recycling and composting was important. Jordan and Cade showed students each of the bins (compost, recycling and general) and asked student to place different pieces of rubbish in them. Students received a prize when they placed the rubbish correctly.
• Two classes were not using compost bins and had lost them
• Students thought cans and plastics could be put in the paper recycling bins (like their yellow recycling bins at home)
• Students wanted clear picture labels for their bins
Students seemed to have a greater understanding of correct waste disposal.
We received funding from the Principal for new and less smelly compost bins for each classroom.
We made new picture labels for each classroom’s set of bins and attached them.
What are your plans for waste for the future?
We will work with our Business Manager to see if our general landfill waste costs reduce in term 3 2018.
Replace picture labels if damaged/accidentally removed.