Introducing our Waste Muncher who is our 4R star.
His quest is to Reduce, Reuse, Rethink and Recycle all forms of waste. He thinks carefully to ensure he is not wasting precious resources - including paper and plastics. Printed paper is stored and then reused on the other side. He springs into action to recycle paper and cardboard. Food scraps and shredded paper are recycled into usable garden materials with the help of his worm friends. He encourages all his friends at Eltham North to store their food in reusable containers to prevent the use of wrappers.
GROWING : Our data (from classroom audits, RFL challenge, SETs and State of School reports) indicates we are increasing recycling: 25% more food scraps, recycling more paper, toner cartridges, and batteries. All classes have scrap paper boxes to reuse paper. The amount of compost and worm farms products –worm juice and worm filled composted vegetable material is being used on our garden beds and growing great vegetables.
DISCOVERING: Environmental Leaders monitor the recycling and reusing procedures. Many empty fruit scraps into the worm farms and remind their class to sort paper and check to see if people are taking wrappers out. Our SETs graphs reveal that waste to landfill has remained constant whiles our school population has grown 25% in the last few years.
A selection of quotes from some EL’s:
“Each Friday (lunch order days) at lunchtime we hide the bin to make our class know how much rubbish they need to take home.” Tareq
“We can put one-sided paper in the Scrap paper tub” Cailtin
Everyday at ENPS is like a rubbish free lunch. We measure the fruit scraps, recycle bin and compare the rubbish against nude food day/ regular days, count the wrappers that could go into bins and the amounts of rubbish go onto SETs.
CREATING: Our lunchtime Creating club painted and drew posters for Nude Food day and talked about it at Assembly. We help to create reminders –murals, slogans and message. Our Enviro Hero for waste is Waste Muncher.
TOGETHER: We are always looking for ways to reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill and reduce the amount of resources that go into making products, like: trees being cut down, energy and water used to create wrappers.
At the same time we are trying to increase the amount of recycling and reusing of materials, like paper and packaging.
Whole school involvements – The SIT team (with input from students and school community) plans from year to year. This is based on regular monitoring and audits, successes, identified needs and in response to initiatives drives the program. By nominating a SS component focus each term, whole school days are embraced. Relating key events, like world Environment Day, coaching and daily classroom procedures to the term Waste focus and presenting students, teachers and our community opportunities to learn and practise waste reduction practises, like in the Greenhouse Games challenge. The focus, this year, in all these endeavours is to further reduce our GHG by rethinking, reusing, reducing, recycling in some way . .. everyday at school and at home.
Ongoing process: Raising awareness, communicating information, providing opportunities and resources to reduce waste, increasing student’s involvement has necessitated regular reminders via EL’s atassemblies and in their classes, achievable planning and timelines to ensure continuity of the waste reduction practises.
Getting the message to everyone –Informationfor and by Environmental Leaders, other students, members of the SIT teamis regularly communicated. The trend to use the website ensures student activities, newsletter updates and general information relating to Energy are available to the whole community. The power of students spreading the waste messages, with individual flair impacts at Assemblies. Environmental Leaders communicate initiatives and information in classrooms. Visual aids created by students have also been effective.
Continuing the learning – Level 2 students explored Waste websites to discover where their waste goes and the effect of this on our environment. Newsletter articles with action, information for students and parents e.g. from the GHG challenge helpful hints and Did You know section go out to our school community.
Resources -the provision of suitable resources, recycling bins, black tubs for lunch containers, food scrap buckets and scrap boxes are all provided and maintained to assist our students in their quest to further reduce waste, Reference material, researching computer websites, access to expertise, excursions and incursions have enhanced the classroom, coaching and extra curricular learning about waste for all students.
Time constraints -By making actions simple and achievable, implementing activities according to a timeline, and having a team of teachers working with Environmental Leaders and lunchtime groups, we have found we are able to expand the opportunities for students to be involved. Targeting a few specific community and school based actions and one clear focus, Waste in term one hasset expectations and waste reduction practices up at the beginning of the year.
Future goals:Later this year as part of a curriculum review we will examine how we can embed environmental education more fully so that it becomes and integral part of our entire curriculum.
Water bottle poster
A GREAT START:At ENPS we begin by introducing our prospective parents to our waste practices during the transition process. Our new Preps learn about our Enviro Heroes, including: Waste Muncher and readily embrace the no wrappers/ reusable containers lunch practice. Waste education is scaffolded with increasing technical knowledge and skills as students progress through to Level 4 where they apply their learning in a Sustainability unit of work. Students have the opportunity to become Environmental Leaders so they gain expertise and become mentors for their classmates.
SUPPORT: ENPS’s management structure supports the implementation of the SS components, including Waste. As a focus in our 4-year AIP, first term was targeted for waste reduction practises to be implemented. Our School Improvement Team has representation from each level of the school ensuring effective communication and implementation of the AIP. A budget and the School Council facilities team supports these actions. Our curriculum includes units of work based on Waste, and the coaching program expands learning opportunities for waste knowledge and reduction practices. Council support our waste program by providing paper recycling. Waste audits conducted by Environmental Leaders and Waste Warrior challenges reinforce and encourage the strategies. Helpful hints / information are communicated through projects like: Greenhouse Games challenge, Carbon Sinks and World Environment Day activities. Monitoring our waste to landfill, recycling and food scraps reveals that despite a significantly larger school population (25% increase) we have not increased our waste to landfill and have substantially increased our recycling.
Water Bottle display
History: Our journey: ENPS received accreditation for the Waste module back in April 2006. The focus of this module was the ‘4Rs’ – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rethink. The aim is to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, reduce litter and adopt practices where waste is reused and/or recycled.
Read about a Level 2 Unit of Learning 'Reduce, Rethink, Reuse, Recycle'
Recycling hints for home.
Focussing on Waste Related Issues