IGS Year 4 students present to NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean

IGS Year 4 students have been busy brainstorming solutions to reduce organic waste going into landfill.

Students Tobey, Martina and Arlo enjoyed the opportunity to present their year group’s research and potential solutions to reducing organic waste in landfill to State Minister for the Environment the Honourable Matt Kean and sustainable house guru Michael Mobbs via Zoom from the new Amphitheatre.

“In Year 4, students have been doing many science and technology activities related to the Green Dream Home unit of work with a major focus on sustainability,” Head of Primary Studies and Year 4 Green Home Class Teacher Michelle Sullivan said.

“They have been investigating the properties of heat and light to design ways to reduce their consumption of energy, as well as how to reduce the waste produced both in their current environment and in designing their Green Dream Homes. 

“In particular, just before and during Science Week, they looked at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and researched ways that they could reduce their use of plastics. “

Students discussed the types of organic waste produced at IGS.

Focus on organic waste

“The students decided they had to break it down. So the first investigation they carried out focused on the organic waste produced in the school canteen through food preparation,” Ms Sullivan said.

“Year 4 Green collected data that the rest of the cohort analysed, discussed and came up with solutions to help reduce the amount of organic waste going into landfill from the food preparation in our school canteen.”

IGS student Martina said: “Our first solution to reduce the amount of organic waste thrown out by our school canteen is to compost it.”

“We then investigated the type of foods we could compost and the size of the bins we would need. We feel we would need at least two to three compost bins for this amount of organic waste.

“However, as raw and cooked meat and fish cannot go into a compost bin, we need to also include a Bokashi Bin. A Bokashi bin is an airtight bin that will allow us to turn raw or cooked meat and fish into a rich soil conditioner. As well, composting bread and cake, without worrying about these food smells escaping, as they can attract rodents.

“Using these two types of bins, we will be able to turn this organic waste into a soil and rich soil conditioner for our gardens around the school,” she said.

The students valued their opportunity to present to the Minister and are looking forward to presenting  to IGS Principal Shauna Colnan, Head of Sustainability Carmelo Fedele and Year 6 sustainability leaders.  

Ms Sullivan congratulated students on their creative entries in the Primary Science Week Competitions.

All winners will be notified in the final week of Term 3.