Welcome to NE Waste’s Education Hub, where you can discover all about waste avoidance and resource recovery through our school programs, community programs and on-line resources for teachers, kids and grown-ups.
North East Waste and our member Councils take education about waste very seriously. Our programs have been designed to NSW Curriculum guidelines, reflect education for sustainability goals, and are evaluated for ongoing improvement.
From Preschool, to Primary and High Schools, we have a range of programs schools can access and on-line resources suitable for teachers and students.
Early Childhood Environmental Education
NE Waste recognises the importance of early childhood education. From 2007-2010, NE Waste coordinated an Early Childhood Waste Wise Education Program, visiting 40 preschools and services across the region, implementing waste wise routines with staff and children.
We have a new program out for 2017!
Waste wise ideas for your early childhood service
Separate your waste using smaller bins around the centre clearly labelled: Rubbish, Recycling and Organics/Food Scraps. Make sure all the staff are informed and get the children involved where possible.
Purchase 100% recycled content paper and fair trade sustainable products where possible.
Recycle your food scraps - Set up a worm farm or compost bin or contact us or your local Council for help.
Set up a vegie and herb garden with the children and use on-site to make delicious healthy snacks
Don’t use harsh chemicals which are an environmental health hazard. Find out more about green cleaning products.
- Have a low waste lunch week using our low waste lunch information sheet for parents
– collect all the packaging and disposable items from the week before and during low waste lunch week to highlight the difference.
Hold a parent led garage sale or swap day at the school with the proceeds going back to your centre – contact us to find out how
- Download our on-line resources below and contact the Education Coordinator or your local Council for further information.
Purchasing eco friendly products and those with recycled content.
Being water wise.
Environmental plan and policy.
Avoid Waste e.g. careful use of paper towel.
Re-use of materials.
Being water wise.
Enjoying the garden.
-Being water wise
-Waste free lunches
-Our environment when you grow up
Care and Respect.
Foster relationships with the natural world and people.
Share info with families.
Invite participation in projects.
Promote waste free lunches.
Fundraise using eco friendly products.
Promote environmental awareness.
Be involved in eco friendly community events.
Share info with families.
Invite participation from council environmental officers or other groups promoting environmental sustainability.
Reducing waste in your Early Childhood Service (Diagram)
It takes a lot of coal, water, energy, oil and trees to make “Rubbish”
Waste wise ideas for your early childhood service
Reducing waste in your Early Childhood Service
Resources: Early Childhood Waste Wise Kit
Contents of zip archive:
• Waste Reduction Action Plan sheet (WRAP);
• Staff Survey on Waste Wise Practices;
• Waste Audit Sheet;
• Low Waste Lunches;
• Recycle and Re-use Song;
• Educational Group Time;
• Ways to foster environmental sustainability in children and their families;
• Tips to Avoid and Reuse Waste;
• Facts Sheets from the North East Waste Forum;
• ECEEN Newsletter;
• Little Green Steps Newsletter;
• Easy Composting Guide;
• Easy Guide to Natural Cleaning;
• Easy Guide to Worm Farming;
• Resource Sheet for further information – websites, contacts, books etc.
• Top Ten Tips for your Early Childhood Service to Reduce Waste to Landfill
Living with Less Waste:
The Green House mobile waste education schools program
“The Green House” is a mobile waste avoidance education trailer which promotes sustainable waste practices to schools through interactive and fun waste information sessions held by professional performers. Students will learn how they can actively help their local environment by adopting simple waste-less practices, such as smart-shopping, reducing, reusing, composting and recycling at home, school and play.
The Green House meets the NSW Board of Studies Curriculum Outcomes and provides an innovative, interactive and fun learning experience for all ages in Primary School and lower Secondary Schools. It can be adapted to suit Stage appropriate outcomes. Curriculum links table download.
On your school grounds. We come to your school and set up in a suitable area for example under the COLA or in the school hall if weather is not suitable to erect our education display. Our education display is 6m (wide) by 3m(length), and if necessary we can halve the size.
Each show is approx. 45 minutes and a maximum of 4 shows are available on any one day. Usually a maximum of 30 students per show, but special requests can be catered for. For larger schools we are available for 2 days or more sessions may be negotiated.
There is no cost to the school to participate in this program. The program is funded by your local Council and North East Waste. We can also provide ongoing support to teachers and the school to further implement waste wise initiatives in the school.
Supporting Teacher Resources for pre and post learning:
Lesson plans for Years 4 – 6 and Years 7-9 are available for teachers to maximise the learning outcomes from The Green House Education Program.
What students and teachers have said about us
“Thank you for visiting our school today. We loved Elley E-Waste. She showed us how we can be recycle hero’s. “
“Gen Z the recycle robot is so cool!”
“Thank you for such an inspiring presentation today. We are going to examine our waste wise initiatives across the school, and implement a low waste lunch day.”
For bookings: Contact the Education Coordinator.
Richmond Valley Council has provided a van to transport the NE Waste and member Council's Green House education program across the region. Lismore City Council also contributed in-kind with the van's artwork. Both Councils are to be recognised for their contribution in enabling such a fantastic resource to be shared amongst the Councils.
The Trip to the Tip
The Trip to the Tip Program offers students a first hand experience of what happens to their waste and recycling once their wheelie bin leaves the kerbside.
What happens to our rubbish once it is picked up by the rubbish truck? The ‘Trip to the Tip’ Program offers a fantastic opportunity for teachers and students to get a first-hand insight into where our rubbish and recycling goes. Students have a tour of their local waste management facility including the tip face, recycling areas, leachate capture systems, reuse shop, and green waste/organic recycling areas. They also receive a waste avoidance and recycling show by our Green House performer. We support further learning at school after the excursion through providing a Trip to the Tip handbook, which includes quizzes, crosswords, missing words as well as further information about your local landfill site.
- Increase student’s awareness and understanding of waste issues and the impact that waste has on the local environment;
- Give students the opportunity to experience what happens at their local landfill site;
- Promote simple ways of living more sustainably by being ‘waste wise’ both at home and at school.
School Excursion Details & Booking info
School Excursion: Trip to the Tip Program
Suitable for Years: All years
NB. Schools should organise their own buses but the cost of the buses will be subsidised
Time: 2 1/2 hours plus travel – Morning Session and/or afternoon session
Maximum no. of students per session: 60
School support resources: Trip to Tip Workbook will be emailed to the teachers and provided to students on the day of the excursion.
Contact the Education Coordinator for school bookings on 6685 3651
VIDEO: What happens to our recycling
High Schools and sustainable waste management
North East Waste, on behalf of its member Councils, offer a range of programs suitable for high schools to support schools in reducing their waste, and to educate students about sustainable waste management practices. The range of support varies from year to year dependant on funding and resources. It is best to speak to the education coordinator or your local Council waste educator to find out more:
The Students Using Sustainable Strategies (SUSS) Forum
SUSS is a partnership project between the North East Waste Forum (on behalf of its member councils) and other organisations in the region including Southern Cross University, National Parks and Wildlife Division, Rous Water, Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre and the Northern Rivers Group of Environmental Educators.
This two day event for high school students and teachers in the Northern Rivers aims to increase and share their knowledge on sustainability, develop strong networks amongst students and teachers and empower and skill participants to take actions to increase sustainable practices in their lives, communities and schools. It has previously been run in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and has seen more than four hundred students and teachers from more than twenty five schools participate in these events.
In 2013, Southern Cross University will coordinate a similar forum open to all schools across the region based on the same education principles as SUSS.
AAA Team Schools Visiting Program
The AAA team is a regional schools support program involving NE Waste and member Councils, National Parks and Wildlife Division, Envite, Rous Water, and is being coordinated by Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre. The AAA team will visit your school to hold an audit and education day for students. Contact Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre to find out more on Ph 66895286
On-line resources for teachers and students
The following documents for download will assist in ongoing education about waste and resource recovery for schools. The lesson plans offer guides as to a range of activities you can do in the classroom with or without our Green House schools visit.
Downloadable resource for teachers
• Compost Lesson Plan (word document)
• Low Waste Lunch (PDF)
Love Food Hate Waste
Who doesn't love food? But did you know that NSW households send an average of 800,000 tonnes of food a year to landfill.
The NE Waste councils are partners of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage’s Love Food Hate Waste Campaign. Love Food Hate Waste aims to raise awareness about the impact of food waste in NSW and reduce how much 'good' food we waste.
As part of the NE Waste’s Love Food Hate Waste Program, a travelling education display will be visiting markets and shopping centres across the region. Performers Cowgirl Chef and French Chef Pierre will engage food shoppers with their whip-cracking, egg beating food waste avoidance tips. Householders can swap left-over recipes, learn how they can save up to $1,000 a year and make a pledge to reduce their food waste. You can find out where it is visiting by emailing email@example.com OR continue reading and make an on-line pledge.
Click on the tabs below to find out:
What we waste?
In NSW, we throw away
$2.5 billion =
worth of edible food a year.
Here is what we are throwing away:
$848 million of fresh food
$694 million of leftovers
$371 million of packaged and long-life products
$231 million of drinks
$231 million of frozen food
$180 million of take-aways
Why do we waste?
Buying food is one of the most wasteful forms of consumption in Australia. The average household waste bin contains 35% food waste.
Research shows we commonly waste food in our homes because:
• we cook too much food
• food goes off before the use-by/best-before date
• we forget about leftovers in the fridge or freezer
• we don't know how to use leftovers
• we buy too much because we don't stick to a shopping list
• we don't check the cupboard or fridge before going shopping
• we're not planning our meals and menus as much as we could.
What can you do to reduce your food waste?
The Environmental Impacts of Wasting Food
Help to reduce food sent to landfill by considering some of these actions.
Hover your mouse over the plate to find out more...
To really love your food and avoid waste
follow these guidelines to:
• Buy only what you need
• Prepare and cook the correct serving size
Planning is the most important step when
buying food and avoiding food waste:
• Plan your meals
• Write a shopping list
By keeping your food fresher for longer
you can help prevent it going to waste:
• Store your food correctly
• Check the use by and best before dates when buying.
• Use or freeze leftovers
You can reduce the amount of food
waste when cooking:
• Measure and cook the correct serving size
• Check the website for recipes for leftovers and blemished or wilted fruit and veg
When wasted food is thrown away and breaks down in landfill, together with other organic materials, it becomes a major contributor to the generation of methane – a gas 21 times stronger than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. The breakdown of food waste in landfill also releases nutrients, which can leach out of landfilled waste and pollute our groundwater and waterways.
Food production lifecycle
In Australia, the food supply chain is responsible for approximately 23 per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions, making it the second-highest emissions generating activity after power stations. This includes direct emissions from agriculture, and those attributed to energy, transport, food production, processing and distribution of food.
The single largest impact Australian households have on water use is through the food we consume. According to CSIRO data, throwing out a kilogram of beef wastes the 50,000 litres of water it took to produce that meat. Throwing out one kilogram of white rice wastes 1,550 litres and discarding one kilogram of potatoes wastes 500 litres of water.
LOVE FOOD CHALLENGE:
Visit the Love Food Hate Waste website to find out more about loving food, and wasting less.
The Green House Waste Education Program
The Green House mobile waste education programs is a frequent visitor to community events and festivals across the region, including Beef Week, North Coast National and Blues Fest. Our aim is to provide the local community with simple practical ways to reduce their waste, save money and the environment.
Top Green House tips to reduce waste
Top Green House tips to reduce waste
1. Avoid disposables and use reusables –Use reusable bottles, cups, plates, bags, batteries, packaging etc
4. Buy products which contain recycled content materials
2. Compost your food scraps and garden waste or make sure you are using your Councils organic waste service if they offer one
5. Don’t throw away items you don’t want anymore – donate to a charity, hold a garage sale or have a swap party with some friends
3. Recycle, recycle, recycle – your kerbside recycling service is one way of recycling, but there are so many other things that can now be recycled as well from televisions, computers, tyres, fridges, steel and aluminium– check out our local landfill link to find out what else can be recycled in this region.
6. Buy in bulk to save on packaging and money. Just make sure you store correctly so it doesn’t go to waste
7. Reuse and repair
8. Say no to plastic bags – even those that are marked degradable will not break down in landfill. For further information about the harmful effects of plastic see:
10. Avoid the use of household chemicals and save money and your families health. Go to www. For further tips on green cleaning: www.canterbury.nsw.gov.au/resources/documents/sustainability-tip-cleaning-products.pdf
9. Make a shopping list before going to the supermarket – more than 1.5 billion dollars of food is wasted by NSW householders. By buying only what we need, we can avoid throwing away fresh or spoiled food. See love food hate waste for more information
Reuse and Recycling at home:
The Biggest Garage Sale on the North Coast
Second Hand Saturday is program which aims to highlight the benefits of reuse and recycling in the region through promotion of a garage sale day. In previous years, we have had more than 5000 people register to hold their own garage sale and in return they receive a free listing of their address on our website and in the local and regional papers.
For further information about our Second Hand Saturday program, contact the Education Coordinator or visit www.secondhandsaturday.com.au
The environmental, social and economic costs of litter and illegal dumping are increasing every year. NE Waste, local Council and the State Government take this issue very seriously and have a program which deals with this issue being implemented across the north coast region to help reduce the incidence of illegal dumping.
It is everyone’s responsibility to help to reduce illegal dumping, and you can make a difference. If you see someone doing the wrong thing, report it immediately to your local Council. The fines are high if you get caught placing waste in the wrong place, so think before you act.
See more about what you can do at www.illegaldumping.com.au
Visit your local Council's website for more info on waste and recycling
This program is supported by the NSW EPA Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.