Neerigen Brook PS sustainability program teaches students value of reducing, reusing and recycling


Reece Bannister and Mary Taylor. Picture: Jon Hewson d483317
Reece Bannister and Mary Taylor. Picture: Jon Hewson d483317

WHEN staff at an Armadale school discovered 8kg of food scraps were being thrown in the school bins each day, they knew something had to be done to reduce their waste.

The result from Neerigen Brook Primary School’s internal waste audit has sparked the launch of a new sustainability program aimed at teaching the students the positives of reducing, reusing and recycling.

The program is being rolled out class by class, with students in years 4-6 already keeping their hands and minds busy with a worm farm and composting.

Neerigen Brook sustainability co-ordinator Anne Papaluca said they wanted to give students a better understanding of the sustainability process, why they were doing it and its benefits.

“We are also making children aware of energy use and wastage, we are collecting used batteries to return to Battery World to recycle, the classes now have energy monitors to turn of lights, heaters and fans when they are not in use and we have joined a program run through Curtin University to monitor our energy use and they give us feedback on ways to save energy,” she said.

“The students are embracing it; they come to me with ideas all the time and parents are now asking about it too.

“It needs to be something they do as a normal part of life so when they are adults they can continue to make a positive impact on a bigger scale and influence others.”

She said the aim was to reduce the school’s food waste going into landfill to zero by the end of the year.

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