Caversham Primary School's 'green team' is a student group driven to reduce waste.

Primary schools get waste wise

City of Swan schools are learning how to manage waste effectively to help improve sustainability literacy for the future.
June 20, 2024
Jacki Elezovich

PRIMARY schools in the City of Swan are among those who have received a WasteSorted Schools grant from the State Government to help fund waste-smart initiatives.

These can include waste-conscious plans like worm farms, chicken coops, and vegetable gardens.

Woodbridge Primary School and Caversham Primary school both received more than $3000 through the grant.

Woodbridge teacher and spokesperson Hayley Berry said the grant funded the implementation of a new colour-coded bin system and allowed students to learn more about the importance of recycling.

“We plan to use the money for new colour coded bins for all classrooms and eating areas around the school. WasteSorted Schools suggested that using a colour code for our bin system that reflects what is already used in our local community is the best way to encourage students and staff to put their rubbish in the correct bins, and not contaminate recycling,” she said.

Woodbridge will introduce three colour-coded bins for food scraps, general rubbish, paper waste, and Containers for Change.

“With this funding, we will also be able to introduce a team of Year 4 and 5 students called the ‘waste wise warriors.’ This team will support our school in effectively implementing our new bin system, ‘waste wise Wednesdays’, and composting to reduce waste and minimise our overall carbon footprint,” she said.

Caversham Deputy Principal Eliza Outred said their school would use the funding to start a paper and cardboard waste initiative with a similar student-driven approach.

“The grant will allow us to build upon our current sustainability journey and meet goals in our team plan. In 2023, we established a student leadership ‘Cavy green team’ to facilitate waste minimisation practices and promotion and this funding will allow us to expand upon their current operations,” she said.

Ms Outred said Caversham students have been nothing but enthusiastic about getting involved with waste wise initiatives around the school.

“Our ‘green team’ is reinvigorated each semester, as there is so much interest in being involved. Our successful and enthusiastic student team is proof kids do care about the environment and are eager to be involved.”

Ms Berry said the idea of applying for a WasteSorted Schools grant came from finding out how much waste the school is producing currently, and seeing the need for change.

“Change begins with learning, and what better time to instil positive sustainability habits in the future leaders of our country than in primary school? Teaching these values early helps ensure a more sustainable future for all,” she said.

“We would highly recommend other schools applying for this grant.”

The WasteSorted Schools grant program saw more than $113,000 in funding distributed to schools across WA in the first round of funding. Schools are eligible to receive up to $5500 through two rounds of grants per year.

State environment minister Reece Whitby said it’s important to recognise the role schools play in educating and inspiring kids to reuse, reduce and recycle.

“This is a fantastic program that helps schools build infrastructure and implement initiatives that can avoid and recover waste while reducing costs,” he said.

The second round of the program has recently opened for applications, and forms can be found here.

Schools are encouraged to send applications until August 6.

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