A group of Amaroo Primary School students are taking part in a project to divert recycled materials from landfill as part of their mission to make their school more sustainable.
With the help of the school’s SRC and Green Team, the students have been using the ACT Container Deposit Scheme (ACT CDS) as a way of efficiently collecting bottles and cans and correctly disposing of them in order to fundraise for new facilities at the school.
The scheme allows students to collect 10 cents per bottle and in just under 12 months, the school collected almost 5000 containers and raised nearly $500 to go towards school improvement and sustainability projects.
Amaroo Primary School SRC teacher Steph Booksmythe said the SRC and Green Team had led the project.
“They came up with the ideas to launch the initiative and educate the student body on the importance of recycling and how to participate in ACT CDS,” Ms Booksmythe said.
“The students see how easy it is to recycle and the benefits to the school, community and the environment, and they take these lessons into the community.”
The school students, from kindergarten to year six, voted on using the funds collected for paper recycling bins for every classroom and getting a “buddy bench” to put in the school playground.
The buddy bench is designed to attract students who might be feeling lonely to go and sit on it as a signal that they would like some company. Then other students can see they need a friend, or ‘buddy’, and will go up to them to chat, or invite them to play.
With sustainability kept in mind, the bench will be purchased second-hand, and students will get the opportunity to paint and decorate it, to brighten up the school’s outdoor area.
Amaroo year 5 student Younus said he wanted to be a part of the SRC as he felt that he could “help change up the school to be a better place”.
“If we send everything to landfill, then some of it ends up in the ocean and other places where we don’t want it to be, and it could affect animals’ lives such as turtles getting stuck in nets,” Younus said.
Another student, Ben, agreed.
“I wanted to help the school be better and cleaner, and help get more equipment and resources for classes,” Ben said.
“It’s important to recycle so we prevent it from ending up in the oceans.”
Khadija added, “I wanted to be an SRC because I thought that it would be good to be a rep of my class and participate in making the school better with other people”.
“It’s important to recycle because it means we’re helping our environment more.
“If the environment’s bad, then it’s bad for us – it has a bad impact on us.”
The next step for the school is to implement a “waste warriors” program as part of the Green Team. Students will be equipped with rubbish grabbers and patrol the playground collecting any stray litter.