Once Upon a Time…

Written by – Frances Hewitson
Date- 21/2/2013


Recycling Graph - Crib Point PSCrib Point PS is a small semi-rural school situated in the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council, on Westernport Bay. Our school combines curriculum and external activities to provide learning opportunities to the students and to improve the school’s continued commitment to sustainability. We have been on a continuing journey to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in our school since 1999. We have never received funding for the WASTE module, but have utilised external opportunities such as winning Mayoral Sustainability Awards and participating in the R.E.D. project to extend our programs. We have achieved our WASTE successes through self-guiding and occasional help. Thanks to all people who have contributed or assisted with programs and achievements along the way; most recently Samantha Ackland from Mornington Peninsula Shire and Kirsty Costa from CERES.


Our school’s aims have always been to clean up our school, to reduce our “Landfill/Tip” waste, to increase our reusing and recycling of waste and to improve the knowledge of students about waste and the options available to people today.

Actions and Achievements

The actions taken throughout the school to reduce, reuse and recycle waste have changed over time as the culture of the school changed and as new and improved ideas were implemented. Here is an outline of initiatives undertaken on our journey:- Initially a school wide “Cleanest Grade Yard Area” award system was put in place to help keep the yard clean, variations such as “ House” competitions have followed; Clean Up Australia (School) Days were conducted and comparisons made from year to year; Rubbish Free Lunch Participation; The size (cubic m) of the hopper has been reduced twice, as less and less waste has been produced in the school; Recycling boxes were introduced into classrooms as participation in Shire recycling program commenced; Students look after recycling and waste programs in the school as well as undertaking curriculum-based educational programs and excursions ; A compost bin/ worm farm was created to take the food scraps form each classroom, staffroom, canteen and Out of School Hours Care; Students created a game to play with the yard duty teachers, called “Teacher Spy” where the students decided if they were caught, paper collection should be the consequence; Buckets and tongs are used by various students at play times to collect rubbish, as this is seen as a fun thing to do; We are in partnership with “Southern Skips”, a community business; We recycle to create “fantastic plastic” gardens and other sculptural elements; We have been collecting paper & cardboard for recycling for a long time, in recent years adding hard plastic and can collection to the recycling and last year we were one of the first schools to participate in the soft plastic recycling program sponsored by the R.E.D. team and have committed to continuing in 2013.

Students have participated in the many clean up days, using maths and literacy skills to record and compare data; students have learned about the different types of plastics. The students have also learned about the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle) and ways that can be done at home and at school. Students have also created and produced useful items from waste. Student participation in decisions made regarding waste and what we do in our school is ongoing, through class involvement and Junior School Council.
Recycling Bin - Crib Point PSThere has been a sustainability coordinator who has been the main contact and instigator of the many changes and implementation of new initiatives, with the backing and support of all staff. Students and members of the community have been involved in various ways, directly or indirectly, covering changing classroom practices; teaching and learning; recycling teams & monitors; policies approved by school council; messages / notes sent home to parents; invitations to student-generated Sustainability Expos; student designed posters and notices about the different school recycling practices; student presentations at assemblies among them.

The culture in the school has changed over time to be more caring of the environment, especially within the school; of being keen to recycle and not wanting to create waste. Keeping our school environment clean and free of litter has become second nature to most, which is evidenced in the game “Teacher Spy” and the fact that our school has not had to have a ‘school litter clean up’ for many years. The culture of understanding about waste has changed for the students and we are hoping that this translates to home and beyond.

Achievements have been celebrated by articles in the Morrodoo and announcements at assembly of prizes, certificates and awards won. Classroom feedback has been provided by student Waste Management Teams about student and class involvement and responsibilities in recycling.

Reflection and Conclusion

Although we have never officially “undertaken the WASTE module”, we have utilised various Professional Development opportunities to explore the concepts involved and to gradually apply these over time, building on previously established activities until we have a very strong waste ethos in the school of reduce, reuse and recycle.

Recycled Art - Crib Point PS

We have gradually altered and adapted our school’s procedures and activities with regards to WASTE over many years and are continually looking at ways to develop and add to these to maximise what our school can do. We understand that new initiatives appear all the time, so when we can, we get ourselves involved.

We will continue to fine-tune our approaches to WASTE management in the school.

In 2013 we will be doing a survey to ascertain “How full is your class bin– could we reduce the size?” and we will be looking at our class bin liners with a view to buying green (biodegradable liners). We are also planning a survey of our wider school community to see the waste management changes that have occurred for families. Our canteen is committed to package reduction. We are now in a position to formalise some of the actions which have begun as informal initiatives, so that they become a more robust part of our curriculum, for example doing more with Art and recycled materials.

Further Information

More information about the wonderful WASTE management initiatives and actions we have going on in our school can be obtained by contacting us on 03 5983 2557 and speaking to the Sustainability Coordinator.

By Crib Point Primary School|2017-11-06T18:12:50+10:00April 17th, 2014|0 Comments