Wipe out Waste

Yesterday we had a guest from Wipe Out Waste who assisted the school with a rubbish audit. The results were very confronting. Several of the class actually helped sort out the rubbish for the audit.

Here are some statistics ….

Of all of the dozens of garbage bags of general waste (landfill) that was collected in just one day at Holy Family only a bin about this size  (small waste paper basket) actually needed to be in the landfill waste…..

  • Foil can actually go through with mixed recyclables as long as it is in large balls that can be pulled out by hand. So all those foil containers from the canteen can be recycled.


  • We can collect clean soft plastics like glad wrap and snap lock bags and drop them off at Woolies or Coles for recycling.
  • If as a school we collected all of our 10c containers we could make approximately $3000 per year!
  • As a school we are adding approx. 10,000 straws to landfill and waterways. Do we even need a straw to drink a slushie???
  • Our school adds 8,000 zip lock bags to landfill
  • Based on the food waste in our bins we throw away nearly 5,000 sandwiches in a year that HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN UNWRAPPED  let alone eaten…..that doesn’t include all of the other food (muesli bars, chips, snacks) that were in the bin totally wrapped in their original wrapper….

We followed up the visit yesterday by watching a short episode of War on Waste on the ABC. It added to our thinking and made us think carefully about our ecological footprint….

Today as a class we discussed some of the action we could take in response to this information

Some ideas included

  • Come up with a manageable classroom recycling system. This will require additional tubs and labels to ensure children know what to put where.
  • Investigate how the rubbish is handled once it leaves the classroom.
  • Talk with the canteen about the selling of straws and possible alternatives
  • Talk with Mr White about upgrading the drink taps to ensure accessibility, possible refrigeration of drink fountains and the potential for the canteen to stop selling disposable water bottles.
  • The use of reusable cups in the classrooms that have sinks so that children that forget their drink bottle can access water there instead of buying it.
  • Educating others about everything that can be recycled.
  • Nude food to ensure minimal waste is brought from home
  • Never buying yogurt squeeze pouches as they NEVER break down….and they are expensive!

The children then worked individually and in small groups to devise a personal action plan in response to the provocation ” So what can I do….I’m only 9/10 ”

We encourage you to talk with your children about their personal action plan.

In kindness,

Mrs Hawkes and Mr Elder

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