South Hobart Primary School’s sustainable success

MORE than 550 students recently learnt about sustainability at this year’s Kids 4 Kids Conference.

The conference was held in the Sustainability Learning Centre at Hobart College during November and featured around 15 student-led workshops covering a range of subjects including marine debris, biodiversity, energy saving and endangered species.

There was also a range of interactive activities and a speech by the CSIRO’s bee researcher Paolo DeSouza.

During the event South Hobart Primary School (SHPS) presented a workshop on composting with worms and microbes and encouraged other students to make their own compost.

Being downstream of the McRobies landfill site, SHPS students said they were keen to encourage other schools to divert as much waste away from landfill as possible.

SHPS principal Cathy Franz said she thanked the City of Hobart for its support of the school’s composting initiatives through a Waste Reduction Grant Program.

“Through this program we have been able to continue providing school yard waste stations and waste collection and composting services,” she said.

“Our students are learning with their hands, heads and hearts how to care for their environment and we are very proud of the way they all sort their wastes, educate others and even manage the waste stations each day.

“Food wastes, flexible plastics, or blowable plastics as they call them, and paper are collected daily in the school yard and in the classrooms.”

The objective of the SHPS waste project is to imbed sustainable waste management practices in the day-to-day running of the school and to help the school community respect the importance of the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” message.

Playground waste stations are now available so that SHPS students can sort their wastes into food, flexible plastics, recycling and landfill bins.

Worm farms, compost bins and compost bays have also been set up by David Stephen (“compost guru”) who has been employed to help create compost for the school gardens using students’ lunch scraps and school garden wastes.

Hobart Lord Mayor Sue Hickey said the Waste Reduction Grant Program intended to provide funding to support projects, services and innovations that may increase resource recovery and were likely to lead to a significant reduction in waste going to landfill.

“In its first year the grants have already lead to great outcomes, including that of SHPS,” she said.

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