Oodles of food hits the bins

IGS Sustainable Futures recently conducted a waste audit and are now seeking survey responses.

“It’s really important that we get this done so we can improve on what we are doing,” said Maddie Hayen of Year 8.

“It’s been a really fun day and we have put in a lot of work, so hopefully we can move forward in terms of waste in our School. We want to be as responsible as possible.”

Wearing gloves and masks, Sustainable Futures members took turns to collect and sort bin contents throughout the day.

Nate Turner said students watching what they were doing were “shocked and flabbergasted” at the amount and kinds of waste thrown out during one ordinary school day.

“It’s the start of us building a more sustainable future tomorrow,” Nate said.

Louis Williamson said he was inspired by Ghandi to “be the change you want in the world”.

Sustainability Portfolio Leader Euan Thomas said it was helpful to analyse the waste the school produces.

“We have made a visual representation of what is thrown out,” Louis said.

“Early Learning students are already saying they will eat their food or take it home if they don’t want it.

“I’d encourage students and their parents to chat about what they actually want to eat and about how much they are eating, so there are lower food costs and less waste.”

For Head of Sustainability Carmelo Fedele, the day was productive.

“A lot of people in our community feel we can be managing our waste better and there are a lot of suggestions about what to do,” he said.

“In Sustainable Futures, we felt that the first place we needed to start was with a waste audit so we could better understand how much waste we generate, the types of waste and where it needs to go.

“From here, we can brainstorm strategies, come up with solutions and then conduct another waste audit to see whether our new projects are working.” 

Some observations students made on the day:

  • A significant proportion of the food waste were items that had not been finished or even touched. For example whole sandwiches, tubs of yoghurt and whole fruit.
  • Much of the waste that was going to landfill can be recycled or composted. Even paper and cardboard that we currently recycle may end up going to landfill if it ends up mixed with general waste.
  • Many students were genuinely shocked to see what ends up in our waste and wanted to do better.

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