Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson enables teachers to guide students through some real data sets that reflect consumer recycling behaviour statistics. They will note trends in the recycling of printer cartridges in Australia, using data gathered by the organisation, Cartridges 4 Planet Ark. Activities include working with tabulated data and drawing conclusions. This lesson meets selected Australian Curriculum outcomes for Years 7 and 8 in the subject of Mathematics.

This lesson has been developed as part of the Schools Recycle Right Challenge for Planet Ark’s National Recycling Week. Register your lesson or other activities so they can be counted towards the national achievement and to receive other free support materials.

Learning goals:

  • Students will learn about one important cartridge recycling program called ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ currently operating in Australia
  • Students will consolidate their skills in interpreting tabulated data.

21st century skills: 

 Communicating Critical ThinkingProblem Solving              

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 Mathematics

  • Calculate mean, median, mode and range for sets of data. Interpret these statistics in the context of data (ACMSP171)
  • Describe and interpret data displays using median, mean and range (ACMSP172)
  • Find percentages of quantities and express one quantity as a percentage of another, with and without digital technologies. (ACMNA158)

Year 8 Mathematics

  • Explore the variation of means and proportions of random samples drawn from the same population (ACMSP293)
  • Solve problems involving the use of percentages, including percentage increases and decreases, with and without digital technologies (ACMNA187)
  • Carry out the four operations with rational numbers and integers, using efficient mental and written strategies and appropriate digital technologies (ACMNA183)

General capabilities: Numeracy, Critical and creative thinking.

Time required: 60 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee discussions and lead students in activities.

Resources required: 

Keywords: National Recycling Week, printer cartridges, resources, rubbish, re-using, recycling.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

What you will need: Photocopy the Cartridge Recycling Resource Sheet and Cartridge Recycling Student Worksheet which contains the Cartridge Recycling Data - one copy of each per student. Alternatively, teachers could use a Smartboard, large monitor or projection screen to display the Resource material by going directly to the website.

Teacher content information: Planet Ark founded National Recycling Week to bring a national focus to the environmental benefits of recycling. Started in 1996, this highly regarded annual campaign continues to educate and stimulate behaviour change by promoting kerbside, industrial and community recycling initiative. It also gives people the tools to minimise waste and manage material resources responsibly at home, work and school.

Teaching sequence

Work through this resource material in the following sequence:

10 minutes – Part A: Activating Prior Knowledge
45 minutes – Part B: Understanding Cartridge Recycling
5 minutes – Ref

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Student Worksheet

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