Kiama High School’s success at reducing its waste has attracted a visit by the Education Minister Rob Stokes to learn more about the school’s new sustainability program.
As previously reported, the School partnered with ABC TV’s War on Waste program to assess its environmental impact and improve sustainability at the school.
Through a series of initiatives the school cut its waste going to landfill in half, saving up to $800 a month in waste management fees.
“Kiama High School is one of NSW’s pin up schools for sustainability,” Mr Stokes said.
“It’s fantastic to visit a school community that is so committed to reducing their environmental footprint and making so many small changes that have
had such a tangible impact.”
The Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward, accompanied Mr Stokes on the visit, and said the 47 students in the Waste Warriors group should be commended for their work, “Kiama High School is now mentoring other schools to help them in their own War on Waste initiatives.”
The key steps that Kiama High School took to improve sustainability included:
- collecting bottles and cans for the Government’s Return and Earn scheme
- conducting a waste audit
- changing their waste management provider to Cleanaway, allowing the school to implement commingle recycling and food recycling
- purchasing new bins for the school playground, staffrooms and classrooms (paper/cardboard, commingle recycling, landfill and food organics)
- acquiring an e-waste recycling bin from Reverse E-Waste
- sustainability education for the school community
- overhauling packaging in the canteen, including a reduction of packaging and a move towards compostable and recyclable packing
- promoting and implementing Trash-Free Thursdays to reduce single-use packaging
- Installing zero waste boxes to recycle items not traditionally recycled such as coffee pods, office supplies and beauty products
- installing a Battery World recycling bin.
- installing hand dryers to reduce paper towel use.
The School’s efforts are included as examples in a new Environmental Design in Schools Guide that provides school communities with practical examples of how they can become more sustainable.