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Doing a waste management plan can deliver a range of benefits for your school.
Follow the five steps in our school waste assessment tool to build a waste management action plan for your school.
The foundation to a successful waste minimisation program is to develop a whole-school approach. The more people who are involved in the process, the more people there are to take ownership of the process and help to bring about behaviour change.
Involve the whole school community including:
Collecting information about your school’s current waste procedures will help to identify the amount and types of waste being sent to landfill, and highlight potential opportunities for minimising waste.
An assessment of current waste management practices involves:
A waste audit is a process designed to analyse the amount and types of waste being generated by an organisation such as a school. It provides the baseline data against which all future waste minimisation strategies can be measured.
There are two different types of waste audits that provide valuable information for minimising school waste.
Total amount of waste generated will be displayed at the end of Step 2.
It’s time to look at what is in your general waste bins and work out how much of this could be recovered.
Before you begin, ensure that you have a number of general waste bins from within the school containing a day’s worth of rubbish. The more bins that you audit, the more accurate the findings will be. At the very minimum, audit one bin from an eating area and one bin from a classroom.
Your school throws out litres of waste each year, % of this waste is recycled. Your current waste profile is illustrated below.
Litres of waste generated per school year (40 weeks)
Results from the solid waste audit show that % of what is currently going in your general waste bins could be recycled and an additional % is organic waste that could be composted. In total, % of waste currently going to landfill could be recovered through recycling and composting.
The information and data collected should enable you to create a waste management plan and prioritise key issues.
Click on each of the following focus areas for suggested ideas to help you to develop your plan.
Your selected options will be added to the action plan that will be sent you you at the end of this process.
Once planning is complete it is time to implement your waste management action plan. It is a good idea to start small and implement one new action at a time.
Bin infrastructure, placement and signage
Brisbane City Council officers are able to conduct a free site visit and provide practical advice on waste and recycling collection services, bin infrastructure, bin configuration, signage and setting up an effective collection system within the school.
Schools that have the bulk of their waste collected by Council are able to have their recycling collected free of charge by Brisbane City Council.
Contact WaRRS-EducationOfficer@brisbane.qld.gov.au for more information.
Council officers are able to provide advice and assistance with composting and worm farming. Council also offers free community compost and worm farming workshops that are held at the school, but presented by Council’s Waste Education Officers.
Ensure that the whole school knows about the new waste initiatives by promoting the school waste management plan in the newsletter, on the website, at assembly, via posters and videos and through competitions.
Contact Council WaRRS-EducationOfficer@brisbane.qld.gov.au for sample newsletter articles, parent letters and media releases that can be modified to promote new waste reductions strategies such as recycling that are introduced by your school.
Involve students in the development, promotion and successful implementation of the waste action plan.
Brisbane City Council offers free Rethink Your Rubbish waste education programs to school and kindergarten groups as part of its commitment to reduce waste and increase the recovery, reuse and recycling of resources.
More details can be found.
Take advantage of events such as Clean Up Australia Day, Nude Food Week, National Recycling Week or World Environment Day to highlight waste issues and reinforce the importance of minimising waste.
Congratulations on developing and implementing your waste management plan and helping to create a cleaner, greener environment.
To ensure the success of your waste management plan continue to monitor the effectiveness of waste minimisation strategies on an ongoing basis to identify any issues that need to be addressed.
Every piece of waste that you save from going to landfill helps to save energy, water and non-renewable resources for future generations.
Celebrate and promote your achievements!
For further information, fact sheets, lesson plans and additional resources contact Council WaRRS-EducationOfficer@brisbane.qld.gov.au