Look out for the waste warriors

10 September 2018 - Media release

Campaspe Shire Council in partnership with Veolia have challenged eight schools in a six week Waste Pioneers program to engage, educate and promote good recycling habits with Moama Anglican Grammar Kinder students named the winners and most persuasive waste warriors.

Mayor Cr Adrian Weston said the program saw students from across Campaspe Shire and Moama actively participate in a range of activities that teach them how they can make a sustainable future possible.

“The earlier we educate our children about the environment and the importance of recycling and sustainability, the more it will create a positive impact on our future actions,’ Cr Weston said.

Eight schools participated in the program: St Mary’s Primary School Rushworth, Colbinabbin Primary School, St Patrick’s Primary School Tongala, Rochester Secondary College, Stanhope Primary School, Moama Anglican Grammar, St Mary's Primary School Echuca and Echuca Central School.

“The program provided an invaluable opportunity for students to lead the way, participating in a range of activities, including conducting a waste audit at their school and learning about the importance of putting the right items in the recycle bin,” Cr Weston said.

Veolia’s Sustainability Coordinator, Francesca Stafford visited each school in July and spoke about waste and sustainability with the introduction of the Waste Pioneers Program (including the major project pitch).

“The project pitch required students to come up with a model, product or business proposal for a 1.25 litre plastic bottle,” Ms Stafford said.

Plastic bottles are the most common item seen at Veolia’s Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Echuca. As part of the pitch presentations, students were given the opportunity to tour the MRF to discover where our recycling goes after we place it in our yellow lid recycling bin, and how it gets sorted for recycling.

Veolia’s other Sustainability Coordinator Randy Mendez had the exciting opportunity of co judging each school’s major pitch.

“The knowledge and creativity shown by the students from each school as they presented their pitch last week was really encouraging. It’s exciting knowing the next generation of students are really embracing the concept of sustainability,” Mr Mendez said.

Judged on creativity, innovation and presentation, the winning pitch came from Moama Anglican Grammar School – Kinder class who introduced a reading ottoman.

Under the guidance of teacher Mrs Andrea Kennedy-Ripon, the kinder class spent the term collecting plastic soda water bottles from home and constructing a large ottoman using hula hoops, recycled bubble wrap and cardboard. They engaged the school community to help with the project and even had a parent sew together patchwork scraps to make a cover for the ottoman. The class uses their ottoman every day for reading, demonstrating a creative use of resources to construct something useful for their school.

Second prize was awarded to the grade four students at St Mary’s Primary School Echuca for their impressive project creation, “The Big Dripper”, a pump-activated and drip-fed wall of live pot plants.

Third prize was awarded to Rochester Secondary College’s year 10 students who developed a business, Blue Water Cases, proposing to create a protective phone cover out of plastic bottles collected from the ocean. Their video highlighted the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways and proposed a solution to reuse a common litter item.

Thanks to Veolia, Moama Anglican Grammar School has won $2000 worth of Veolia waste services. Moama plastic recycling company, Newtecpoly, have also kindly donated an eWood raised garden bed made out of recycled electronic waste. St Mary’s Primary School Echuca has won $1000 worth of Veolia waste services, and $500 worth of services was won by Rochester Secondary College.

Campaspe Shire Council and Veolia would like to thank each of the schools for their participation and commitment towards recycling and waste minimisation.

Follow council’s facebook page to view our waste pioneers journey.