Useful stuff from rubbish
Edendale School wants to convert its rubbish into new computers and sports equipment.
The primary school is exploring sustainability and conducted its first rubbish audit last week to raise awareness of the concepts reduce, reuse and recycle.
With the money it saves by sending less waste to the landfill, new school equipment can be purchased instead.
Teachers Brian Coleman and Latha Nayagam are driving the programme which will give the school baseline data about how much paper, plastic and food scraps it wastes.
Representatives from classes in year 3 to year 6 helped sort a day’s worth of rubbish and are educating younger pupils as well.
“The whole school has been involved with the pupils sharing knowledge that natural resources are not inexhaustible,” says Mr Coleman.
He says the emphasis is on reducing first, reusing and then recycling and the school is looking at starting a worm farm to complement its composting system.
“Pre-packaged food can’t be recycled but parents can buy lunch food in bulk and use reuseable containers instead. It works out to cost less too.”
The school also discovered that four times as much food waste was going in the landfill bin rather than the allocated food bins around school.
“It costs $5000 a year to send our rubbish to the land- fill when we really don’t need to. We think we can probably halve that, and pupils clearly had suggestions about what we could do with the leftover money.”
Wastewise Schools co-ordinator Nicky Elmore says Edendale has set a benchmark which can be reassessed in a year’s time.
“When they have knowledge by sorting themselves, they can make their own system for their school. It will save landfill space, transport costs and nutrients for garden compost.”
All sorted: Edendale Primary School teacher Brian Coleman and pupil Abigail Roache, 8, use a day’s worth of garbage for their first rubbish audit.