Wyndham Waste Warriors
Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 have joined forces to create the ‘Wyndham Waste Warriors’. The students began with a waste audit of their playground landfill bin. They soon discovered that lots of the things that were ending up in the landfill bin didn’t need to be there. They weren’t waste items – they were things that could be turned into compost or recycled and made into useful things. After learning about the many reasons why landfill isn’t sustainable the students decided that this was definitely a problem worth solving. It was fantastic to see that even before BEEC staff had returned to the school to help students create an action plan the teachers and students had already:
- asked the store (canteen) to stop putting plastic straws in their drinks
- placed recycling containers in each classroom
- begun collecting soft plastics to take to Coles / Woollies
- started using a reusable sauce container instead of single use sauce sachets at lunchtime
Students then worked on action plans to reduce paper ending up in the landfill bin, to begin composting food scraps, to make sure recyclable materials stay out of the landfill bin and to reduce soft plastics coming to school. Well done ‘Wyndham Waste Warriors’!
What have we done so far:
- Formed a waste team – Wyndham Waste Warriors
- Completed a waste audit with BEEC
- Completed an action plan workshop with BEEC
What are our biggest problems with waste:
- Lots of paper going to landfill
- Lots of compostable material going to landfill
- Recycling items also going to landfill
- Lots of soft plastics coming to school
What are we going to do to reduce the amount of waste to landfill?
- Install compost bins and start collecting our compost scraps
- Ask the store if we can feed their chickens some of our food scraps
- Ask the store to not put straws in our milkshakes
- Place recycling containers in all the classrooms (for paper and other recyclable items) and have a roster to take them out to the recycling bin
- Start collecting soft plastics to take to Coles or Woolworths
- Put signs on all our bins
- Have bin monitors to help let everyone know what goes in what bin
- Make posters and have articles in our newsletter and on our website
Term 1 2020
Wyndham Public School has received funding from the Bega Valley Shire Council to assist with the purchase of compost bins and worm bins, materials to build a bin bay for the school, equipment for bin monitors, additional bins for the school and prizes to award students that are great waste warriors.
This funding will allow the school to begin to put some of their action plans into place.
The project aims to change students behaviour around the sorting of waste – with students becoming more aware of the correct bin to put their waste into. It also hopes to change students attitude towards waste items by helping them realise that not everything they put in the bin is ‘waste’, for example paper can be reused and then recycled and food scraps can be made into compost.
Term 4 2020
The Wyndham Waste Warriors now have 3 bins in every classroom – one for compost, one for recycling and one for landfill waste. They also now have a box for re-usable / scrap paper in the classroom. The students have worked with the local shop (their canteen) and straws have changed from plastic to paper. Students have individual cups or drink bottles in the classroom to eliminate single use plastic water bottles coming to school.
They have also decided to get chickens for the school to eat all their food scraps! They currently have 31 eggs incubating and a chook pen that is almost ready to house the chickens when they hatch.
The final waste audit results show a reduction in soft plastics coming to school, an increase in the amount of paper going to the recycling bin instead of the landfill bin and a reduction in the amount of food scraps in the landfill bin (the only food scraps in the landfill bin were identified as that of a visiting teacher who didn’t know about the school’s compost bins).