Earth Savers – Cobargo Public School

Earth Savers - group photo
Nude Food Lunch
Students counting soft plastic waste
student with nude food

The Cobargo Earth Savers are a group of Stage 2 students from Cobargo Public School who are working towards becoming a waste free school. They completed their first waste audit on the 17th August, 2020 and then completed the action planning workshop on the 21st September, 2020.

The students discovered that all sorts of things were going into the landfill bin including recycling and organic waste as well as a large amount of soft plastics. They also discovered that some of the containers that were coming from the canteen can’t be recycled or composted. They then came up with loads of ideas of how to reduce the waste coming to school and to reduce the waste the school is sending to landfill.

This is the list of what they are going to do to reduce the amount of waste to landfill:

  • encouraging the whole school to become waste free
  • continuing the use of paper recycling and use of the FOGO bin
  • educating students about what goes in the FOGO bin with students writing speeches to be presented to each class
  • creating a game to be played with the Kindergarten students which involves sorting items into FOGO, recycling and waste
  • purchasing more FOGO bins to be placed in each classroom to collect all food scraps
  • asking the canteen to become waste free by writing letters to the canteen and providing them with a list of alternative options
  • whole school voting on ‘nude food’ recipes and present these to the canteen
  • participating in ‘Trash Free Tuesday’ once a week where students go in a lucky dip to win a prize which promotes sustainability if they have brought a waste free lunch to school
  • placing recycling containers in all the classrooms (for paper and other recyclable items) and get the environment ministers to empty them each week
  • putting signs on all our bins
  • having bin monitors to help educate students on what goes in each bin and sort rubbish which has been placed incorrectly
  • making posters and having articles in our newsletter and on our website promoting a waste free school
  • having a competition to design and / or colour in posters for school and / or home to promote bringing a waste free lunch each day
Cobargo Earth Savers bin monitors
Flower artworks
Earth Savers completing final audit

The Cobargo Earth Savers completed their final waste audit on 4th May 2021. The students have done a brilliant job in promoting Trash Free days at school – with every class having weekly prizes of re-usable containers awarded to lucky trash free lunchbox owners. Members of the Cobargo Earth Savers work as waste monitors during eating times to make sure the right things are going in the right bins. Students are asked to bring waste free lunches to school and are encouraged to take home any waste they may produce. FOGO bins are available for any food scraps, as well as recycling and landfill bins. Bottle top lids have been collected to create flower artworks that will be displayed in the school to educate the community about re-using and re-purposing rather than landfilling.

The hard work of the Cobargo Earth Savers has paid off as when we went to audit the landfill bin there was hardly anything to see! The number of items in the landfill bin went from 467 in the first audit to only 45 in the second audit and the weight of the landfill waste went from 3.81 kg down to 0.27 kg. An amazing result. We audited the FOGO bin as well (the FOGO bins were not being used in the playground during the first audit) and found there was nothing but FOGO in there. Two amazing results. Well done Cobargo Public School’s Earth Savers!!

Graph showing results of audits
Results for waste audit graph