Pupils don’t waste any time changing recycling habits

St Laurence’s School, NSW

Students busy conducting the waste audit

Starting with class discussion and a waste reduction plan, students and teachers from St Laurence’s School in New South Wales decided to make a positive change towards their lazy recycling habits with the help of a Westpac Junior Landcare grant.

A rubbish audit conducted by Junior Landcarers showed the vast quantity of waste produced by the school. Sorting through the rubbish, students noticed the various types and worked out which could have a damaging effect on wildlife and which could help the environment.

From there, they decided that they would make use of all food waste that, instead of going to landfill sites, could be used effectively in their school garden. As part of the school’s strategy for improving recycling methods and habits, the Junior Landcarers discovered the unusual Bokashi composting system which works like this:

Food scraps are collected and put in a compost bin with Bokashi powder to aid decomposition.

  1. Fermented food is then dug into the school garden to help vegetable plants.
  2. Liquid is drained from the compost bin and used as a fertiliser.
  3. As part of the marketing plan, this beneficial by-product is then sold as ‘Foodiliser’ to parents.
  4. The profits are spent on more Bokashi powder and the vegetables go straight to the school canteen.

All in all, a complete, self-sustaining garden cycle that any Junior Landcarer would be proud of!

The 36 Junior Landcare Leaders amazed teachers with their enthusiasm, commitment and ability to overcome challenges and learn new gardening skills. Work will continue with the expansion of vegetable patches and a reduction in lunchbox packaging.

The Junior Landcarers learnt, on-site as well as in the classroom, the role they play contributing to landfill and the responsibility they hold to reduce the impact this has on the environment.