Waste Reduction Program at TPS
TAKE IN & TAKE HOME LUNCH WASTE PROGRAM
As part of our effort to reduce our waste and encourage our school community to think about the amount of packaging they throw out, in 2009 Toorak Primary School trialled a “Take In, Take Home” rubbish program.
From June 5th, if students or staff brought food packaging to school they had to take it home with them.
This program is part of our participation in the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative. It also aligns with our Sustainability Policy that states, “To continue the development of a Waste Wise ethic within the whole school community; to provide and maintain a healthy and aesthetically pleasing learning environment through the reduction of waste and litter; to practise waste wise principles of reduce, reuse and recycle; to reduce the cost of waste and litter management”.
Teachers were given a piece of cloth to put over their classroom bin during eating times to remind students to put the rubbish in their bag. The Green Team member in that class was in charge of covering the bin and helping to educate classmates about ‘nude food’. At play times, compost bins will be available in the yard for students to dispose of their compost waste. All other waste will be put back in their lunchbox and placed in the tub outside their classroom door.
Through this focus, Toorak Primary School reduced its landfill waste by 239 wheelie bins. This is a reduction of 14% overall and 24% per student.
In 2009, the school also introduced a service which emailed newsletters to parents. Most parents took up this offer as the newsletter was available in colour, easy to read via PDF and could be forwarded to relatives and friends so they could enjoy students’ school lives.
We also introduced interactive whiteboards to every classroom in 2009. This reduced our paper usage significantly as teachers were no longer having to photocopy sheets to A3. They also used their whiteboards for rich learning tasks which meant that worksheets or instruction sheets were no longer needed. Blogs were also introduced for each classroom, which further reduced our paper usage.
Through these actions, Toorak Primary School saved 274 reams of paper and $1709! Overall, the school reduced its paper usage by 39%, which is 48% per student.
We maintained our organic waste system in 2009 with every classroom composting their organic waste. We have two compost bins in the school and they are filling fast, with parents helping to empty them and keep them healthy during school working bees.
We will continue to reduce our landfill waste and encourage the 4Rs in our school – REthink, REduce, REuse, REcycle!