Garbage Gang

Stage 2 and 3 students from Eden Public School have teamed up to form the ‘Green Gang’. During their waste audit they discovered that the largest percentage of waste in the landfill bin was organic waste. After learning about how expensive and unsustainable landfills are, the students have decided to introduce FOGO bins to the school for lunchtime food scraps. The school already has some great worm farms, and these farms will keep on composting the scraps from fruit break each day. The canteen is a really popular place at school, and is open everyday for the students to buy lunch. The students have also decided to trial using containers in the canteen that can go in the FOGO bin. It will be exciting to see how much the school can send to FOGO instead of ending up in landfill. Great work Eden Public School!

Group of students - waste team
Students sorting waste
weighing waste
waste audit time

What have we done so far:

  • Formed a waste team – ‘Green Gang’
  • Completed a waste audit with BEEC
  • Completed an action plan workshop with BEEC

What are our biggest problems with waste:

  • Lots of FOGO in the landfill bin
  • Lots of soft plastics coming to school

What are we going to do to reduce the amount of waste to landfill?

  • Provide FOGO bins for organic waste at lunch time
  • Provide soft plastic bins for soft plastics
  • Create a movie to promote our message to the whole school community
  • Have bin monitors to make sure the right things go in the right bin
  • Trial containers in the canteen that can go in the FOGO bin
  • Put paper recycling bins in all classrooms

Term 1 2020

Eden Public School has received funding from the Bega Valley Shire Council to introduce a FOGO collection at the school (they already have some successful worm farms that they will keep using as well) and to support soft plastics and recycling collections. They have also received money to equip their bin monitors and to provide prizes for students who are awesome waste warriors at the school. The canteen will also be trialing single use containers that can be placed in the FOGO bin after use.

The Garbage Gang expect there to be an increase in students placing their organic waste in either the FOGO or worm bins across the school. They also hope that everyone in the school will be able to identify which canteen containers can go in the FOGO bin, and have a better understanding of how to sort all their waste correctly.

Term 4 2020

The Green Gang at Eden Public School completed their final waste audit on 23rd November, 2020.

The students have made an amazing video that can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/EdenPSNSW/videos/810040573131915/ to educate the whole school community. The students have introduced FOGO bins to the school playground, with fruit break scraps from the classroom feeding their fantastic new worm farm. Bin monitors have been introduced and a logo has been designed. Posters have also been made and the canteen has introduced FOGO-able containers for many of their food items. Recycling bins are now present in all classrooms. A new round of enthusiastic students has already been introduced to the program in readiness for next year.

The results of the audit found:

  • 0% contamination in the new FOGO bin.
  • 41% reduction of FOGO in the landfill bin (from 70% to 29%).
  • 34% reduction in FOGO and recycling items in the landfill bin (from 60% to 26%) (see graph below).

The school has also reported:

  • They have reduced the amount of landfill bins for collection.
  • They aim to introduce return and earn and soft plastic collection for 2021.

Over 50 students were involved in the final waste audit. This shows the enthusiasm of students to be part of the Green Gang at school. I have no doubt that this program will be ongoing and successful in the years to come. Next year the school aims to have a team of teachers who are involved in the program, which will further strengthen the impact of the Green Gang at school.

Graph for Eden PS showing waste audit results