Jennifer Zeng (Year 11)
Throughout this past week, a group of our hard-working students have been working on the Waste Audit project led by Mrs Mccreath and supporting teachers.
As an enviro-school, our focus for 2021 we are trying to improve our waste system and move us towards Auckland Zero Waste 2040! Following up the waste audit conducted earlier in the year, this has been a week of collecting, sorting and analysing how Sancta Maria College produces waste. On Tuesday 1st of June, students sorted through bags and bags of rubbish accumulated in a SINGLE day – and there was a lot!
With the guidance of Mrs Mccreath, Dr Laux and Mrs Au, the team was able to sort rubbish from each bin into the correct categories (recycling, soft plastics, food waste and landfill), record the quantity (weight) of each category from different parts of our school and discuss our past and future actions.
There was an overall 50kg! We found that contamination where different foods would contaminate other waste but generally, rubbish was sorted. Surprisingly, a lot of our waste – 22kg to be exact – came from classroom bins and went straight to landfill. However, if we sorted our rubbish correctly, we could prevent a lot of that waste going to landfill. When sorted properly, we found that only 6.3kg should actually go to landfill.
Johann Ang, from the team of student helpers said
“There was a lot of rubbish, and we all learnt a lot about how to sort rubbish correctly! Problems were mostly seen with cleaning our waste and throwing away food”
Although the mountain of rubbish was tiresome to sort through, everyone gained a better understanding of how we should be sorting rubbish effectively and why a simple action such as throwing rubbish away can make a huge difference. As witnesses of the rubbish being put into our school bins we can definitely do more!
Waste is a large part of our school and something that both students and teachers can improve upon. Our newest initiative to change our waste system is a chance for us to do just that! With 4 types of bins at each bin station around our school, this is an opportunity to start raising awareness towards the rubbish we are throwing away.
Here are a few examples of how to use each bin
|Recycling||All plastic containers which have recycling sings 1-7
Glass and aluminium
Paper and Cardboard Packaging (i.e. yoghurt bottles, drink bottles, cheese and cracker trays – make sure these are rinsed of any food!)
|Soft Plastics||Chip and biscuit wrappers|
|Food Waste||Apple cores, mandarin peels|
|Landfill||This bin should be your last option after checking
Includes ‘contaminated’ items (e.e. Pizza box with pizza oil)
A final message from Mrs McCreath:
“If we can use this bin system properly, we can divert more waste from landfill and that’s what we want to do :)”