Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students will investigate their usage and disposal of recyclable materials by collecting and analysing data. They will calculate percentages regarding their rate of recycling and apply these figures to average Australian statistics regarding the consumption and manufacture of recyclable materials. Students will be informed of proper recycling habits and understand their responsibility in diverting waste from landfill. 

This lesson has been developed in partnership with Visy. For over 60 years Visy has been striving for sustainability, reducing the amount of waste going to landfill by collecting recyclable materials and recycling them into new paper and packaging products. Click here to find out more about Visy and their innovative work in recovering and transforming recyclable materials into new products to preserve our earth’s precious resources.

 

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand and become familiar with proper recycling habits.
  • Students we be able to calculate and apply percentages to solve problems related to recycling (focus for Years 7 and 8).
  • Students understand how to collect and use data to solve problems related to recycling (focus for Years 9 and 10).
  • Students understand the effects of sending recyclable material to landfill. 

21st century skills:

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:

Year 7 Maths

  • Find percentages of quantities and express one quantity as a percentage of another, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA158).

Year 8 Maths

  • Solve problems involving the use of percentages, including percentage increases and decreases, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA187).

Year 9 Maths

  • Identify everyday questions and issues involving at least one numerical and at least one categorical variable, and collect data directly and from secondary sources (ACMSP228).

Year 10 Maths

  • Evaluate statistical reports in the media and other places by linking claims to displays, statistics and representative data (ACMSP253).

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.8.

Relevant parts of Year 7 Mathematics achievement standards: Students solve problems involving percentages and all four operations with fractions and decimals.

Relevant parts of Year 8 Mathematics achievement standards: Students solve everyday problems involving rates, ratios and percentages.

Relevant parts of Year 9 Mathematics achievement standards: Students compare techniques for collecting data from primary and secondary sources.

Relevant parts of Year 10 Mathematics achievement standards: Students evaluate statistical reports.

Topic: Waste, Sustainability.

Unit of work: Bright Sparks – Secondary Mathematics.

Time required: 80 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Teacher will need to facilitate class discussion and provide additional information.

Resources required:

Keywords: Recycling, recycled, percentage, data, rate, landfill, problem solving.

The information and statistics included in this document are approximate and have been simplified for educational/illustrative purposes. They should not be relied upon for any other purpose.

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

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions:

  • Students will understand and become familiar with proper recycling habits.
  • Students we be able to calculate and apply percentages to solve problems related to recycling (focus for Years 7 and 8).
  • Students understand how to collect and use data to solve problems related to recycling (focus for Years 9 and 10).
  • Students understand the effects of sending recyclable material to landfill. 

Success criteria:

  • Students can identify the recyclable materials they are using on an average day.
  • Students can calculate percentages, averages and proportions in a problem solving context.

Teacher content information: Almost everything we do in our daily lives creates waste. We can describe waste as something we no longer want or need. The food and drinks we consume, the clothes and cosmetics we wear, the transport we take, the stuff we buy, the energy we use in our homes and workplaces – all these things have waste as a part of their pro

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: How much recyclable waste do I throw out?

Part A: What is recyclable?

Your teacher will provide you with a quiz. Once you have completed the quiz activity, work independently to answer the following questions:

1. What did you used to think about recycling?

 

2. What do you now think about recycling?

Part B: How much do I use?

For this part of the lesson you will be approximating your use and disposal of recyclable material, by completing the tables below. Each table focuses on different types of recyclable materials and should be completed simultaneously. To help you with this task, follow the steps outlined below. You may also choose to use the recycling posters as a guide.

1. Create lists: For each type of recyclable material, list all of the different products and items you might use within a week. Record these under the column heading Recyclable item and complete the Quantity used for each as well. Where necessary, put your items into groups (e.g. small

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