How to complete a School Waste Management Plan NetWaste Teacher Resource for primary schools Waste management Australians are some of the highest producers of waste in the world. Waste disposal to landfill is no longer considered a sustainable solution to waste management. The waste hierarchy ranks disposal as the least preferable option for managing waste. In some instances, sustainable waste management practices are often perceived as
harder to implement in schools, work places and public spaces. Waste in schools Managing waste in schools requires an investigation of: The types and quantities of materials that come into the school How these materials are used by the school population How the materials are disposed of, and how often A majority of waste generated in schools continues to be sent to landfill but there are more sustainable alternatives. Does your school have a successful cardboard and paper recycling system in place? Does your school have an established organics recycling system?
Does your school recycle its obsolete printer cartridges? Establishing a school waste management plan will not only improve your schools environmental footprint, but can also save your school money! What is a school waste calculator? The school waste calculator is designed to assist schools in taking the next step to improve their waste management practices. By simply entering data into the waste calculator, schools will be able to collate all their waste data, including:
Composition and types of waste produced The service frequency for all waste types The volumes of waste produced Other waste minimisation practices being adopted by the school. The data will then generate a series of school specific reports that includes: A summary of the waste generated by the school
The impacts of that waste generation The number of waste minimisation and avoidance tools being adopted A series of recommendations How to use the school waste calculator Enter your school details including number of staff and students Enter paper purchase information NB: Each page has red arrows to navigate forwards and backwards. Data entry Enter data regarding types of waste, service frequency, number of bins and
waste volumes in bins. To assist you, refer to the Tips at the bottom of the page or hit the question marks. Whats in your waste? Identify whats in your waste. If you haven't done a waste audit, the calculator will estimate the types of waste generated in school environments with similar waste and recycling services as yours and enter this data as default values. Waste minimisation
Make note of any further waste minimisation practices that are adopted at your school. Reports Once the data has been entered a series of reports will be generated specific to your school. This includes a: Summary of waste generation report (as shown) A report graphing the environmental impacts of waste generation at your school A summary of the waste minimisation
and avoidance measures adopted by your school Recommendations Based on the data entered, the final report will list a series of practical recommendations aimed to assist the school improve its waste management. This could include suggestions to:
Improve resource recovery Reduce servicing frequency Reduce/ increase bin numbers Reduce resource loss Improve contamination rates Introduce further waste minimisation measures Implementing the school waste management plan Your school is now ready to implement a School Waste Management Plan based on the recommendations outlined in the report.
Your school should consider the following: If purchasing additional infrastructure (e.g. recycling bins), the location and positioning of these bins should be carefully considered to maximise resource recovery and minimise contamination. Adopt a whole-of-school approach. Staff and students should be clearly informed and educated about any new recycling/ waste management system and the expectations of them. A new recycling system should be monitored and maintained. While the whole school should be engaged in the program, a specific person/ people should be made responsible for maintaining and managing the system. For further assistance in implementing the recommendations provided in the report, it is suggested that you contact your waste contractor and/or Netwaste. Prior to implementation
Plan a communication strategy for the School Recycling Program How are you going to ensure: Staff and students know about the recycling program? Staff and students use the recycling bins and know what they can recycle? Staff and students do not contaminate the recycling bins with
general waste? Staff and students are kept informed on how much they are recycling and how much it is reducing waste to landfill. The recycling program keeps its momentum for the long-term? You engage and inform the wider school community of the school recycling program? Benefits for my school Reduce the schools environmental footprint by improving resource recovery and reducing waste to landfill. Cost savings- better use of resources and potential reduction in general waste services. Encourage students and teachers to recycle beyond the home. Better appreciation of the effects of waste on the environment- may also
help reduce litter. Encourage the school to introduce other green initiatives e.g. composting, litter free lunches, school gardens etc. Setting of waste targets for the school. Use the waste calculator annually to record improvements in the schools waste management. Share this information with the wider school community.
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