Are you aware that Australia is listed among the countries in the world with one of the highest waste productions? A huge amount of its waste come from industrial premises, households, and schools. Most Australian schools have been noted as the main culprits in generating waste.
Sources and types of waste in schools
Schools are a behemoth of activities; with students, teachers and support staff all huddled up in one environment. In that regard, it is obvious that waste will emanate from various sources.
Some of which are listed below:
Papers from writing and reading documents
Office equipment such as computers, laptops, printers, and photocopiers
Broken furniture such as tables, chairs and desks
Rubber, leather and textiles
Food remains from the cafeteria
Sporting equipment such as worn out balls, tennis rackets, shoes and old jerseys
Just by adopting one new sustainable idea in your priority list, you can end up making a lasting environmental impact. Arguably, there is no better time for you and your entire household to start adopting eco-friendly habits than during back to school.
How can Australian schools reduce their waste?
It is no surprise that waste is generated from daily school activities. Therefore, it is prudent that sustainable measures be put in place to manage the garbage for a cleaner environment. After all, our schools are places where the next generation of thinkers, consumers, and leaders are nurtured.
Rubbish can indeed present a menace to institutions of learning. Minimising the amount of rubbish can play a significant role in maintaining a clean and safe environment for kids to learn and develop into responsible members of society.
Are you wondering how schools in Australia can considerably reduce their waste? If so, then the following information will be invaluable to you. Firstly, most Australian children are already reusing and recycling items back home. Similarly, this young generation can also apply the same proactive and creative approach and use the same recycling techniques at school.
15 Tips to Reduce School Waste
If you are a student, teacher or an environmentalist, here are 15 tips that you can use in your school to reduce waste:
1) Reuse and recycle items
Not only will reusing and recycling save Australian schools money and energy but will also go a long way in conserving the already overexploited ecosystem. Moreover, students can also learn that noble and straightforward acts such as reusing, reducing and recycling waste can transform their school and community for the better. Check out this guide on recycling tips for your school.
Create a policy that ensures everyone considers repairing, refilling, reusing, or refurbishing something before tossing it into the bin. It also reduces the need for buying new merchandise especially when it comes to things like printer cartridges, furniture, and stationery.
You can donate leftovers or school equipment that is no longer needed to your local organisations or charity at the end of the school year. In addition to that, you can liaise with parents and guardians to ensure that you make ‘Back to School’ as greener and environment-friendly as possible.
Every financial year, schools purchase numerous items for use by their students. Inevitably, some of these supplies don’t get utilised. Look for such products and donate them to reduce your institution’s overall waste. You can donate such items to local organisations or other people who are in need.
3) Adopt use of modern equipment
Did you know that a lot of waste is also produced in the school cafeteria? Consequently, you can encourage those in charge of the cafeteria to employ the use of stainless-steel compactors. Such an affirmative action will assist in reducing the amount of space that heavy cooking equipment and food occupy.
4) Set up a compost
Having a compost in your school will ensure that waste are turned into compost manure that can later be reused in the school garden. You will save on the money that you could have used to purchase artificial fertilisers.
5) Form a waste management team
Likewise, you can formulate a waste management team in your school for effective waste management. Such a group can consist of teachers, custodians, and student leaders. Having a school mascot that reflects on waste management is a good way to influence on the students.
Equally important, you can sensitise your fellow students or members of staff on the importance of reducing waste. It will be a lot more easy to deal with rubbish problems if everyone is involved than when only a few individuals are left to deal with the whole issue.
7) Embrace technology
With the advent of technology, there is much that your school can do to reduce its waste merely by embracing the internet. For instance, documents can be sent and received via email to minimise the use of paper and the subsequent paper waste that may result.
8) Carry Out Waste Audits
You can work with the students to create statistics and graphs that track all the waste in your school. This endeavour can be a weekly or biweekly event that helps to manage waste in the cafeteria. With the findings you get, the school is able to figure out the best ways to reduce different types of waste.
9) Cafeteria Composting Program
A composting program is one of the best ways to deal with the food students are not eating. Rejected scrap make up most of the full garbage cans that schools struggle to deal with. With a well-planned compost system, your school can turn all its trash into treasure. It goes without saying that all the compost made will be excellent for the school farm.
10) Go for Reusable Items
When buying school supplies, always make sure that you choose better alternatives to single-use items. Your institution can go for recycled notebooks, papers, and refillable pens and pencils. You can even encourage students to carry their lunches with reusable plastic lunchboxes instead of the readily available brown papers.
11) Use Less Paper
A large percentage of waste in schools comes from paper. Things like book reports, flyers, and printed curriculums utilise so much paper that when these items become old, they become a lot of waste. You can change this situation in your school by going for recycled paper and generally reducing the use of paper by students/ staff.
12) Use the Web
It is one of the best ways to reduce paper waste. Encourage staff and student to use electronic sources for information instead of always going for hard copy materials. Things like emails, intranets, document scanning, and online access will go a long way in reducing the amount of paper used in your school.
13) Involve the Entire School
For a waste management initiative to be successful, it needs the support of every single person in school. Therefore, make sure that your initiative involves the teachers, students, supporting staff, and all other stakeholders. This way, it will be easy to make all the necessary changes needed to reduce waste since everyone is on board. Simply put, make your waste initiatives a tradition of the school.
14) Venture Outside the School Gates
It is useless to adopt better waste management practices in school and leave out the wider community around your institution. In fact, bad waste practices can creep back into the school if the parents and the larger community are not in the ropes of what the school is trying to achieve. On the contrary, a waste initiative that involves the larger community ensures that the environment outside the school is supportive, in addition to growing the institution’s reputation as an environmentally conscious education centre.
15) Hire a Reputable Litter Management Companies
If you need help coming up with the appropriate waste management systems for your school, there are companies that can help remove rubbish. These firms can also collect and recycle your school’s litter. Hiring a company is an excellent move where your school deals with huge sums of waste.
In summary, it is possible for Australian schools to adopt the techniques mentioned above to reduce the waste they produce. A cleaner environment will give tutors an excellent head-start to impart knowledge to learners; who are the future leaders. The need for a cleaner school environment can neither be overlooked nor underestimated. After all, cleanliness is the only way.
If you need a helping hand to take action, then Paul’s Rubbish Removal is the team to call. We are able to cleanup your school completely and assist your institution in commencing a green program.
Simply call Paul on 0407 125 125 today and speak to our friendly staffs for more information.
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Sarah Baker is a Digital Content Writer for Paul's Rubbish Removal. Sarah is a huge advocate for recycling, environmental sustainability, health and well-being and has a genuine love for all sea animals. Keep up with Sarah by following Paul's Rubbish Removal blog!