Working for Two years now at a primary school as a Cleaner, which consists of cleaning classrooms – vacuuming, dusting – and cleaning the playgrounds of all rubbish every afternoon 5 days a week.
In my experience the waste disposal process the school has in place is pretty straight forward, I Have created a flow chart of what I see happen.
All kinds of rubbish end up in the skip bin from Banana peels to building supplies. It hasn’t changed since the first day I have worked there and was in place long before. This is not the best practice to dispose of waste effectively with no sorting process at all to separate the recyclables, organic waste and general rubbish. This is definitely something the school should act towards especially in a primary school, where it is the opportunity to teach the younger generations about the importance of organic waste and recycling as it is the first step to a sustainable future.
With over 600 Students the amount of waste that is accumulated and the amount of food that is wasted is unbelievable, the bins are always packed and overflowing.
At the end of everyday
Fill on average 18 -240L bins – General Classroom and Food waste
Every 3 days
Fill a 4 cubic meter skip bin gets emptied – Includes all waste and gardening waste – branches and grass trimmings
This is a substantial amount of waste that could be put to good use even within the school, and to save money. The company Remondis collects the Skip bin and gets Disposed of in landfill, but they do also provide “expertise to identify alternative options for waste, decrease environmental impacts and reduce general waste disposal costs for customers”. (Remondis, 2016.) Operating all over Australia for small businesses.
As a comparison I Looked at how other schools manage waste: East Maitland Public School “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!” (Hunter Resource, n.d.)
Simply by using separate bins and teaching the students to start compost worm farms and recycling cardboard/ paper they were able to achieve this.
The school I am working at is in need of a lot of improvement in this area to make them a sustainable and environmentally friendly school.
Hunter Resource, n.d. School case study, Viewed 12 June 2016.
NSW Government, 2016. Sustainable Schools NSW, Viewed 12 June 2016
Remondis, 2016. Raw Materials and energy, Viewed 12 June 2016