Green Action Centre recently developed a waste reduction program for École River Heights School. Based on the school’s climate science curriculum, students have already taken part in three out of the four total sessions in the program.
Students started off by learning basic information on climate change, intermediate information on linear and circular waste systems, and advanced information on what items belong in what waste stream – and why they belong there.
The majority of people unknowingly practice improper waste management on a regular basis: placing non-recyclables in the blue bin, such as disposable coffee cups, recyclables that are dirty or full of food, and the habit of throwing out everything in general. These are a few of the poor waste routines that we, at Green Action Centre, are working to change. By teaching students about waste early on, such common bad waste habits will soon be a thing of the past.
The students got their hands dirty and conducted a waste audit of the entire school: 450 students and 18 homerooms all in one day! Here are the results of the waste audit:
The students found that only one third of their garbage is actually garbage! Most of it is organic waste, recyclable, reducible or reusable. These can all be diverted from the landfill with proper waste reduction practices. The biggest takeaway is that a whopping one third of all the waste the school produces is organic waste, which can be composted!
École River Heights School has already begun taking action to improve their waste practices. As of late December 2022, the school has been receiving organic waste pickup services from Compost Winnipeg. The school and the students are well on their way to becoming waste experts!