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School case study

Take a look at what Hunter Resource Recovery and our local Hunter schools have been working on together to create a more greener, and recycling-friendly environment.

East Maitland Public School – A Waste Wise School

East Maitland Public School is currently involved in Hunter Resource Recovery’s school’s recycling program. With 730 students you can imagine how much waste and recyclable material the school produces.

The school fills eight 240 litre recycling bins with cardboard and paper each fortnight. Each classroom has a small recycling bin in which all used paper and cardboard is collected. Class monitors ensure that all this material is emptied into the HRR recycling bins that are distributed throughout the school. Staff from the canteen, the main office and the staff room also recycle all of their used cardboard and paper.

The school’s strong environmental commitment has not only helped to save precious resources going to landfill and being wasted, but it has also been able to save the school money. It is estimated that since the introduction of the recycling service an estimated $1200 has been saved in waste disposal costs!

East Maitland Public School not only recycles paper and cardboard, but also recycles aluminium cans. The school has found that by selling the cans it can also make money that will ultimately benefit the students. The cans are sold to a local scrap metal merchant and the money raised is used for auction items for student life skills.

Another part of the school’s waste management strategy is the use of compost bins. The students helped design and build 2 wooden compost bins. These are fed regularly by the students with lunch scraps that are collected in each classroom, and with kitchen waste from the canteen. Garden waste from the school grounds is also composted in the same manner. The students are currently designing a worm farm too, which will compliment the use of the compost bins.

In 1999, East Maitland Public School was awarded the School’s Environment Award by Maitland City Council. This award recognises that the school has been able to save the Earth’s resources, and money, by managing its waste. By doing so, the school has also taught the students that each person must take responsibility for their actions and that without too much effort everyone can learn to avoid, reduce and recycle waste.

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