Council offers a number of free educational opportunities for the community to learn more about our region's water, waste and recycling.
The Fraser Coast MRF education centre is located at the MRF in Dundowran in Hervey Bay. Recycling, from all across the Fraser Coast is delivered to the MRF for sorting and separating into the five (5) recyclable materials:
- Paper and cardboard;
- Steel; and,
These materials are then baled ready to transport to recycling factories.
The MRF Education Centre provides the opportunity to look at how recycling is managed at once the kerbside bins are collected.
Visits are available for school children, kinder garden, early learning centres and community groups. Lessons at the MRF are tailored to curriculum needs.
Fraser Coast Regional Council’s School Waste Management Program is a free program to encourage schools in the Fraser Coast region to help understand waste management issues at their schools and improve overall recycling and waste going to landfill.
Resources will be provided to help students implement better waste management systems in their schools and bring behavioural change.
We will help your school:
- Reduce waste and littering;
- Reduce waste associated cost; and,
- Improve recycling and generate income
School Waste Management Program has sets no goals for schools to achieve. There are no set timeframes for it to be completed either. Schools can identify their own situation, set their own goals and work at their own pace.
To view the School Waste Management Program flyer click on the link below:
School Waste Management Program flyer
Council’s Education Officer will hold an Initial meeting with the Schools Business Manager and Waste Coordinators to discuss the school’s waste minimisations goals. It is important for the right people to be involved as permissions and commitment will be required to get the project off the ground.
At this stage we discuss:
- what is working well;
- what is not working well; and,
- what needs to be done to achieve the goals the school is trying to achieve.
Some questions that will help you prepare for the initial meeting;
- What is working well so far?
- What do you wish to achieve?
- How many bins does the school have (wheelie bins, bulk bins, bins in classroom etc)?
- Does the school have a recycling bin?
- Does the school have their own compost?
- Does the school take a load of green waste regularly to the waste management facility for mulching?
Once the initial meeting is done, commitment will be needed from the Principal and Business Manager to get the process off the ground.
Some actions required during this part of the process;
- Waste Coordinators will need to get a bunch of enthusiastic students (“Enviro –Champions”) together who will be accountable for the school’s waste and litter management.
- Waste coordinators will also need to get someone from Admin involved who can pull out past waste bills and keep records.
- Waste Coordinators will need to get the cleaners involved who can help identify issues with littering and bin placements around the school premises.
During this stage a “litter audit” will be conducted followed by “waste audits” in the next few weeks. Facilitation will be provided by the Council Education Officer on how to conduct these audits.
Part one - litter audit
“Enviro Champions” will divide into different groups and walk around different areas of the school to check the location of the bins and identify the hot spots for litter.
This activity requires:
- A map of the school needs to be printed from Google Maps
- Different coloured markers
- Teacher and student worksheets needs to be printed from Cool Australia website for recording different types of litter found in the school.
- Once the data is collected, students need to get together and add the total number of litter items found in the school premises.
- Collected data needs to be filed as a baseline data with the date of the Audit. We will use the baseline data to compare it with future litter audits.
Some of the questions to be discussed with the students after the litter audit;
- What area of the school is the most littered?
- What were the most common items found as litter?
- Did you find anything that could be reused/ recycled or composted?
- How do you think we can reduce litter in the school premises?
Part two - waste audit
It is recommended waste audit are conducted a few weeks after the litter audit so students still have the litter audit fresh in their minds.
During the waste audit, there will be three things that will be looked into;
- How much rubbish does the school produce?(Council Education Officer will be able to assist with pulling up information on the waste produced by the school in the past months)
- How many waste bins does the school have?
To complete this activity:
- “Enviro Champions” will divide into different groups and walk around different areas of the school to check the number of the bins and their location
- A map of the school needs to be printed from Google Maps.
- Teacher and student worksheets need to be printed from Cool Australia website for recording the number of bins in the different areas of the school.
- Once the data is collected, students need to get together and add the total number of bins found in various locations of the school premises. The data recorded will be used as baseline date for future reference.
3. What stuff makes up the rubbish bins?
To complete this activity
- Waste Audits need to be performed. Waste Audits can be performed by just looking at the top layer of the waste bins to identify what kind of waste is being generated in the school.
- Alternatively, couple of bins from the Student Lunch areas could be emptied into a tarp and sorted into various different categories provided in the worksheet.
- (Teacher and Student Worksheets need to be printed from Cool Australia website for recording the various kinds of waste produced at the school.
- Pictures should be taken and stored in a particular file for future reference.
- Once the data is collected and recorded into the worksheet, it needs to be filed for future reference. The data recorded will be used as baseline date for future reference.
Some of the questions to be discussed with the students after the litter audit;
- What are the most common items found in the waste bins?
- Did you find any items that could have been recycled or composted?
- What do you think we can do to improve recycling and composting at the school?
This stage requires a discussion on findings from the “litter audits” and “waste Audits” .It also requires recording of existing and recommended actions in the worksheet (PDF) provided
During this stage, the previous waste-bills will be also be looked into to find out how many Bins are being paid for and how much rubbish was generated.
This will provide an opportunity to brainstorm ideas on any additional bin requirements for recycling and waste.
It is very important the principal and business managers get involved at this stage as budget is most likely needed.
Council Education Officer will also be present during this stage to advice on future actions and infrastructure changes.
This stage requires the implementation of the recommended actions that were recorded in the “Agree Actions” phase.
Implementation phase will be different for different schools depending on how much the school has already achieved so far. Council Education Officer will provide support in implementing the recommended actions for the first time.
Student involvement and ownership is very important for continuity of this program. Any actions implemented will need to be recorded in the worksheet (PDF) provided for future reference.
Some ideas on implementation;
- Getting more recycling bins at the school
- Start managing your green and organic waste (composting and worm farming)
- Organising a nude food day
- Getting involved in the Container Refund scheme
During the implementation phase, any milestone achieved should be shared with the whole school via school’s e-newsletter. Activities such as “Nude Food Day” should also be promoted.
It is important to investigate how the program is running every now and then to measure the success of this program. A second audit can be done during this phase to see any improvements in littering and waste disposal.
At this stage results are to be compared with the previous audit and past bills. The amount of rubbish produced by the school each audit should decrease showing more is being recycled and composted.
Recognition and celebration
Any milestone achieved should be circulated through the whole school and celebrated. Successful implementation of better waste management techniques will be recognised by the Council.
A parade presentation will be arranged and a certificate will be provided by the council to recognise the effort of the School. School’s success will also be promoted on the Council’s social media platform. Make sure you keep Council’s Education Officer up to date of your progress and challenges.
All child-care, day care, family day care and primary schools on the Fraser Coast are eligible to subscribe to Get Grubby, Australia’s leading online sustainability resource for kids from the makers of ABCKids series dirtgirlworld and Get Grubby TV.
Led by 50 videos not shown on TV, the program stars dirtgirl, scrapboy and Costa the Garden Gnome.
The course is delivered online and is being provided FREE by Council. It includes videos, music, outdoor and indoor activities; and encourages kids to explore the big world outside. Many of the topics are timed to coincide with key sustainability events such as World Environment Day and National Recycling Week.
With an emphasis on fun, this ‘edutaining’ program is sure to be a hit with our centres and primary schools as they join thousands of kids around Australia to become confident planet-dwellers with the confidence to create worm farms, grow food, recycle, reduce plastic and waste, and be water and energy wise.
For more information or to join the program email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the Fraser Coast Regional Council.
View the Get Grubby Program website here.