Activity Introduction

green-waste-digger-heroQuick summary: Students develop a communication plan aimed at inspiring more people to use green waste bins correctly.

Back-to-Earth-logoFollowing these lessons plans is an ideal way for your students and the community to tune in to what happens to green waste once it is collected in a kerbside bin. The Back to Earth initiative is about connecting people with what happens to green waste once it leaves the garden, how it is processed, what it is used for at the end of this cycle and why its important to put the right things into the bin!  

Join thousands of others who have learnt about the benefits of using their green waste service correctly, for their communities and for the planet.  Don’t forget to check out the Back to Earth initiative website: – to learn more.

Learning goals:

  • Students understand the environmental problems associated with sending green waste to landfill.
  • Students recognise the benefits of recycling green waste.
  • Students understand how to plan a communication project and how to communicate positive messages about recycling green waste to the community.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.6, OI.7.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 7 Science

  • Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
  • Science understanding influences the development of practices in areas of human activity such as industry, agriculture and marine and terrestrial resource management (ACSHE121)

Year 8 Science

  • Science and technology contribute to finding solutions to a range of contemporary issues; these solutions may impact on other areas of society and involve ethical considerations (ACSHE135)

Year 7 & 8 Design and Technologies

  • Critique needs or opportunities for designing and investigate, analyse and select from a range of materials, components, tools, equipment and processes to develop design ideas (ACTDEP035)

Syllabus Outcomes: SC4-13ES, SC4-11PW, SC4-12ES, T4.1.1.

Topic: Back to Earth

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity.

Resources required: Student Worksheet, internet access, desktop or online song recording program (e.g. Audiotool or Soundation), Project Action Planning – Tips for success.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities:

Keywords: Green waste recycling, communication, song, slogan, rhyme.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


The Back to Earth Initiative would like to acknowledge Veolia and these participating councils.


Teacher Worksheet

green-waste-grinder-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will understand the environmental problems associated with sending green waste to landfill and will recognise the benefits of recycling green waste. Students will also understand how to plan a communication project and how to communicate positive messages about recycling green waste to the community.

Teacher content information: Many people think that sending green waste to landfill is fine. It’s natural right?? Surely it just breaks down and creates good soil that helps the environment?? No, sadly, this is not what happens at all.

Landfill sites are essentially great big piles of rubbish. There is no air in these great big piles and this means nothing much breaks down in them at all (did you know that old landfills are now being treated as archaeological sites because the waste is so well preserved?!). The only organisms that can survive in a landfill are bacteria which decomposes the waste an

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What information would you need to recycle green waste more?

In groups you are to create and perform a website, brochure or infographic based on one of the findings of recent research in green waste recycling that shows:

  • Women are more likely to be open to recycling green waste than men, but that they still need more information to do it confidently;
  • Almost 40% of people believe that green waste just goes to landfill so they don’t use the green waste bin service;
  • About 30% of people would use it more if they were sure about what should and shouldn’t go in the bin;
  • About 60% of people said they would use they green waste bin more if they were aware of the environmental benefits of green waste recycling; and
  • People aged 18-34 were less aware of how and why they should use a green waste recycling service.

Your website, brochure or infographic should be aimed at the people represented by one of these findings and should encourage these people to increase their c

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