Waste Education Opportunities for Primary Schools

There are a number of ways that Lismore City Council can support your primary school with waste education and sustainable waste management practices. Whether you want to partake in the Waste Wise Schools Challenge, or would prefer to pick and choose your activities, there is something for everyone to get involved in.

Take the Waste Wise Schools Challenge

Best suited to Stages 2 and 3 of the curriculum, the Waste Wise Schools Challenge is a fun way for students to learn about sustainable waste management and take action both in their school and at home. The Waste Wise Schools Challenge features a number of activities including:

1. Excursion to Lismore Recycling and Recovery Centre with full bus cost subsidy
See how our waste is sorted, recovered, recycled or composted. Make a day of it by including other environmental activities e.g. recycling relay, compost/seed potting up, waste-free lunch competition, plastic-free bag design or North East Waste Wipe out Waste Program (depending on class size and numbers). The equipment and materials for these activities will be provided and run by the Lismore City Council's Environmental Education Officer and teachers, with easy instructions explained on the day. Watch the Our MRF video at school before you come!

2. School waste audit and action planning activity
Lismore City Council's Environmental Education Officer will visit your school and work with a group of students to audit the bins and develop a Waste Reduction Action Plan (WRAP). This is a 1.5-hour session and can be done with a class-sized group (up to 30 students) or an environment team, as best suits you. The students suggest at least three actions to help improve waste management in the school.

3. School Report
Two months after the audit activity, students will be asked to report back on the waste wise initiatives that have been achieved or are planned. This report can include a request for funding to cover the cost of undertaking waste reduction initiatives and will be assessed by Lismore City Council's Waste Team. Examples of the types of things that may be funded include: worm hotels, colour-coded bins, signage for bins, composting caddies, compost etc.

4. Upcycle band competition
Waste isn't all mess and muck – in this activity students have the opportunity to get creative and share what they have learnt in delivering a waste education message. The students create and perform a song with musical instruments made from recycled or reused materials. The theme of the song is sorting your waste into the right bin. Schools film their performance and submit it to be judged. There are two $100 gift vouchers for a local music shop to be won for the schools with the most impressive performance.

There are also stand-alone activities your school may wish to participate in without doing the Waste Wise Schools Challenge. These include but are not limited to:

1. Excursion to Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre (313 Wyrallah Road, East Lismore)
A guided bus tour to see how our waste is sorted, recovered, recycled or composted. Talk to our Environmental Education Officer about adding on a picnic and/or educational activities in the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens, which sit within the same grounds. A $100 bus subsidy is available for this excursion for schools in the Lismore Local Government Area.

2. 'Join the Recycling Revolution' assembly presentation
Invite our Environmental Education Officer to your school assembly to focus attention on waste and sustainable waste management. Report afterwards to your school community in the school newsletter or website – words and images can be supplied.

3. ‘Choose to Reuse' Plastic Free School Event (with student Nude Food Lunch competition and a parent beeswax wrap making workshop)
The equipment and wax for these activities will be provided and the workshop run by our Environmental Education Officer. Help is required from a school staff member to promote the workshop, book the parent participants and help at the workshop. The workshop is free but parent participants will be asked to bring an old cotton pillow slip. Schools are encouraged to continue to promote waste-free lunches.

4. Return and Earn Container Deposit Scheme Fundraising
Collecting containers that are eligible for a 10c refund and taking them to a refund collection point is a great way for your school to raise additional funds. A bulk collection point for 100+ containers has been set up at the Lismore Recycling & Recovery Centre whereby schools and other organisations can bring in the containers collected through their school community and receive 10c for every eligible container. Most 150ml to three-litre drink containers are eligible for a refund, and they should be empty, uncrushed, unbroken and have the original label attached. For more information on the scheme, and to see which containers are eligible, visit www.returnandearn.org.au.

Lismore City Council has second-hand wheelie bins available for purchase should you require a collection receptacle.