Below are a range of waste education resources for use with different age groups as well as individual municipal information to help you pass on the correct waste information to students.
When thinking about waste, there are many different ways of assessing your or your school or centres impact. Conducting a waste audit can be a really great start to reducing your waste footprint. Similarly, going on an excursion to a landfill or variety of waste facilities can be an eye-opening experience as it provides a full assault on the senses of what the true impact and scale of the current waste system is.
Council Waste Information
Each council offers a range of waste and recycling services to residents. Some council's also offer extra services to schools, including funded places to visit recycling processing facilities. Below is the information for the five councils that form EASL. For other information and other council services, see the Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group website.
Knox City Council
See the council website for information on current waste services in Knox.
Manningham City Council
See the council website for information on current waste services in Manningham. There are funded places for schools to attend waste tours to local recycling processing facilities which can be organised by contacting the council waste team.
Maroondah City Council
See the council website for information on current waste services in Maroondah. There are free waste education programs for primary and secondary schools offered through council that can be viewed here.
Whitehorse City Council
See the council website for information on current waste services in Whitehorse. There are free recycling programs for schools and early learning services offered through VISY. For more information, see the schools page here.
Yarra Ranges Council
See the council website for information on current waste services in Yarra Ranges. There are funded places for schools to attend waste tours to local recycling processing facilities which can be organised by contacting the council waste team. Further offerings for educators can be seen here.
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"Every 2 hours we throw out enough stuff to fill the world's largest container ship with trash. That's 12 container ships every single day, and 4380 container ships in one year."
- The World Counts
Incursion and Excursion Opportunities
There are a number of operators who offer Waste Education Incursions and similarly, the majority of waste processing facilities have an education centre that takes excursions. As detailed above in the council waste information, there are some councils who have funded positions for visits to recycling or landfill centres.
SCRgroup - Recycle with Mondo
SCRgroup is a clothing and e-waste reuse and recycling company that offers education programs specific for Preschool, Primary and Secondary Schools. You can see all of the details through their website.
Gould League Early Learning Recycling Rules
This session focuses on the journey of waste and how to choose the right bin. This is not a free incursion, see the Gould League website for cost and more details.
Providing tailored programs is part of EnviroCom's specialty and they are able to custom waste incursions to your needs. They don't offer free incursions, and can be contacted for more information through their website.
Banyule Rethink Centre
The Rethink Centre has tailored programs for preschools as well as primary and secondary school students. These are not free however some councils will cover the cost of your visit so get in contact with your local waste team and find out more. You can see the details of the Rethink Centre programs here.
Replas are a recycled plastic manufacturer who offer unique products made out of recycled plastic including outdoor furniture, garden products, signage and much more. The Replas Environmental Centre (REC) is an excursion opportunity for students to see the plastic recycling centre in action. These tours are not free. You can find out more information and book a tour through the website.
The Suez Landfill site in Hampton Park has an on-site Education Centre. School groups can be booked through the landfill and may also be organised by your local council waste team. You can find more information about the landfill through their website.
The impact of plastic and marine debris is only just starting to come fully to light. To help with this you could organise or join a beach clean-up with your class and submit your results through the Tangaroa Blue. They collect information on marine debris collected on beaches in Australia. Through the website there are education kits from early years to secondary school and data sheets that are easy to download. Find them here.
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Lesson Ideas and Resources
The following Lesson Ideas and Resources are divided below based on the major topic. See the related website for more detailed information about specific lessons or resources.
Scootle, a national resource repository for curriculum activities, has resources on a broad range of waste topics. You will need your education email ready to login. Find the resources here.
Measuring and Reducing Waste
The Digital Technologies Hub has a lesson sequence focussed on 'Rubbish recording and reduction'. It is aimed at primary age students. Find the resource here.
PlasticAdrift is an interactive world map that shows where plastic will drift to in the world's oceans over a period of 10 years. You can click any point in the map and see which ways the world currents will take it. See the website here.
Suez have created a waste and recycling audit tool for schools to help them identify areas where waste can be reduced. You can download the audit here.
E-Waste has recently come in the spotlight as the E-Waste ban has rolled out as of July 1st 2019. This ban is to stop e-waste going to landfill and reducing the negative impacts that these products can have on the local environment. The ban categories e-waste as anything with a power cord, battery or plug. E-waste can be taken to local transfer stations or there are some companies that will come and do collection service for organisations.
TechCollect is a not-for-profit e-waste collection and recycling service that has e-waste educational materials for primary age students. You can find out more about these here.
MobileMuster are a company that focuses on recycling mobile phones and offer a range of curriculum materials for the classroom. You can find out more about these here. They also offer ideas for running a mobile phone collection at your school or early learning centre.
PlanetArk provide free activity guides, lesson plans and event ideas to help promote recycling correctly. You need to register to access these and they can be found here. There are also a range of posters and guides on recycling that can be found on their general website here.
VISY provide free educational materials all centred around their 'Project R' program that help support further learning in recycling. You can find these here.
Cleanaway provide free educational fact sheets on recycling that be printed out or used in the classroom to help make recycling easy. Find these here.
Hard-to-recycle waste recycling and upcycling
There are a number of items that are quite hard to recycle, not necessarily because of the material they're made from but from their size.
TerraCycle offers a range of programs and recycling solutions for almost every form of waste, a number of them being free. From coffee pods, bread bag clips, pens/markers to mailing satchels, you can find a range of recycling programs to suit your needs. To look at the range of recycling programs, see the website here.
They also offer a number of ideas on upcycling, do-it-yourself projects. Check out the website here and get some ideas for a classroom project to start collecting for.
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Alternative Recycling Options
There are a number of search for service resources that have been developed to assist people when trying to recycle 'hard to recycle' items. You can find three of these here:
War on Waste
The War on Waste was an informative TV program that showed people the different aspects of the current waste crisis. They developed a number of educational resources to help students take a critical look at household, retail and farming waste, which you can find here.
An Environmental Education framework and awards program promoting learning for a litter free and sustainable Australia. Find out more here.
Keep Australia Beautiful
A nationwide organisation that will run education programs for young people, such as the 'Young Reporters for the Environment' program that aims to inspire better waste habits and solutions. You can find out more about this and resources they have available here.
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