Quick summary: In this activity students look at the waste management systems at their school. Students begin by counting the number and types of bins around the school (including rubbish bins, recycling bins and compost bins). They then look at the contents of the rubbish bins using photographs taken of rubbish bin contents. Based on what they see in the bins, students make an assessment on how successful the waste management systems are at their school.
This activity has been created to give younger students – for whom the official waste audit would be too complex – an opportunity to participate in the waste component of the ResourceSmart AuSSI Vic program. To gain accreditation your school will still need to complete the more complex waste audit.
Australian Curriculum Links:
Cross curriculum priorities
Sustainability – OI.1 – The biosphere is a dynamic system providing conditions that sustain life on Earth. OI.3 – Sustainable patterns of living rely on the interdependence of healthy social, economic and ecological systems. O1.7 Actions for a more sustainable future reflect values of care, respect and responsibility, and require us to explore and understand environments. O1.9 Sustainable futures result from actions designed to preserve and/or restore the quality and uniqueness of environments.
Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking
Explicit content description
Objects are made of materials that have observable properties (ACSSU003)
Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas(ACSIS233)
Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications. Copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings (ACMNA005)
Science Year 1
People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE022)
Participate in different types of guided investigations to explore and answer questions, such as manipulating materials, testing ideas, and accessing information sources (ACSIS025)
Mathematics Year 1
Recognise, model, read, write and order numbers to at least 100. Locate these numbers on a number line (ACMNA013)
Choose simple questions and gather responses(ACMSP262)
Geography Year 1
Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources provided (ACHASSI019)
Reflect on learning to propose how to care for places and sites that are important or significant (ACHASSI026)
Science Year 2
Earth’s resources, including water, are used in a variety of ways (ACSSU032)
People use science in their daily lives, including when caring for their environment and living things (ACSHE035)
Mathematics Year 2
Recognise, model, represent and order numbers to at least 1000 (ACMNA027)
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Overarching learning goal:
Students understand that there are a range of different waste disposal systems at their school.
Students recognise that not all waste is placed in the correct bins at their school.
Teacher content information: When we dump rubbish at the tip (landfill) polluting greenhouse gases (methane) are released. This happens when food and green waste rots under mountains of other rubbish. This puts more energy into our atmosphere and is starting to affect our climate. For every wheelie bin we fill at school and home there are another 70 wheelie bins full of waste that we never see. It’s already been tossed out before it gets to us. How can we create less waste?
Watch this video with your students to find out about waste and school systems.