Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson is designed for a flipped classroom, where students learn new content by watching a video in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work.

Following 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 explore the relationship between waste and landfills.
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking

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

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

This lesson can be used with all the learning areas of the Australian Curriculum that relate to waste.

Topic: Back to Earth

Time needed: 20 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – allow students to explore the topic independently by watching the video in the Student Worksheet.

Resources required: Internet, laptops and earphones, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Waste, landfill.

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

Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students take responsibility for their own learning by watching three short clips on waste and landfills and completing a thinking routine which cements their understanding.


The Flipped Lesson

This lesson provides the opportunity for students to explore/build their current knowledge, attitudes and values about waste and landfills. While working independently, students are to view the videos and complete the questions on the Student Worksheet. Teachers will also gain insight from students’ responses which can be used to plan follow-up lessons from the Back to Earth unit.

This visual thinking tool can be useful in examining how and why student thinking has changed based on learning specific content information. It also helps to develop their reasoning abilities and to recognise cause and effect relationships.


Clip 1. From lunch to landfill

This clip shows the journey of waste from lunch to landfill as it moves through LA. Clip l

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What happens to my waste?

Watch the three clips about waste and landfill and answer the questions below -

Clip 1. From lunch to landfill

From Lunch to Landfill -


Clip 2. Importing garbage for energy is good business for Sweden

Importing garbage for energy is good business for Sweden -


Clip 3. Landfill Harvest

"LANDFILL HARVEST" (short documentary by Steve Ramsden) -

Reflection questions

Which clip did you like the best and why?

What did you find interesting and why?

Which clip would you like to know more about and why?


Think about the clips and answer the following questions starters:


How would it be different if...?

What are the reasons...?

Suppose that...?

What if...?

What if we knew...?

What is the purpose of...?

What would change if...?

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