Student Worksheet
Name: Class:

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How can you and your family to cut the amount of rubbish that it sends to landfill?

Getting started

1. Explain to your family that the challenge is a project that your class is working on at school, but you are asking for their help. The challenge is to see how much your family can cut the the amount of rubbish that it puts out each week in the rubbish bin and which goes to landfill.

2. Explain that everyone gains if we all cut the rubbish we send to landfill. Give some examples of the environmental and social benefits of recycling, home composting and cutting the amount of rubbish sent to landfill.

3. Work with your family to develop a waste safety code for your home. Some important points could be:

  • Always use gloves to handle any form of waste.
  • Don’t touch bins or their the contents with your bare hands.
  • Wash your hands after any waste activity. 

 

At the beginning

1. On the night that your family puts out its rubbish and recycling/green waste bins, look inside each bin and write down your estimate of how much waste is in each bin (less than ¼, ¼ ½, ¾ or full). You could use the table on the next page. (Note that some councils only collect recycling and green waste bins on alternate weeks, but estimate the amount of material in each bin anyway.)

2. Have a family meeting. Show them your results for Week 1 for your family bins.

3. Ask your family to brainstorm some ways that they could cut the rubbish in the rubbish bin. Explain that you will be measuring the volume of waste in each bin over the next three weeks to see how their efforts are working in cutting the family’s rubbish.

4. As a family vote on your top ten ideas to cut the rubbish in the rubbish bin. (These ideas have to be fair and something that your family could continue to do in the future. For example, they just can’t say that they will put all the rubbish in the recycling bin.) Write these ideas down and place the plan on the fridge. You could use the plan on page 3 for this or make up one of your own.

 

In the middle

1. Encourage your family to follow the ten ideas to cut the rubbish.  Think of some ways to remind people and to reward them for doing the right thing.

2. For the next three weeks on the night before the waste collections look inside each bin and write down your estimate of how much waste is in each bin.  You could use the table on the next page.

 

At the end

1. Look at your results.  You might like to graph the results as bar graphs so that they will be more obvious.

2. Show the results to your family. If you have managed to cut the rubbish that you have sent to landfill, celebrate your success. If not, keep trying. Look at some new ideas to try. Discuss with your family which ideas worked best and which ones could be improved. If you wish, you could write a new plan and keep monitoring your waste bins.

Sheet 1. How full are your waste bins?

Week 1: At the start of the challenge

Estimate the fullness of each bin. Tick the box that best matches your estimate.

  less than 1/4
full
1/4 full 1/2 full 3/4 full full
Rubbish bin
Recycling bin
Green waste bin

 

Week 2

Estimate the fullness of each bin. Tick the box that best matches your estimate.

  less than 1/4
full
1/4 full 1/2 full 3/4 full full
Rubbish bin
Recycling bin
Green waste bin

 

Week 3

Estimate the fullness of each bin. Tick the box that best matches your estimate.

  less than 1/4
full
1/4 full 1/2 full 3/4 full full
Rubbish bin
Recycling bin
Green waste bin


Week 4: At the end of the challenge

Estimate the fullness of each bin. Tick the box that best matches your estimate.

  less than 1/4
full
1/4 full 1/2 full 3/4 full full
Rubbish bin
Recycling bin
Green waste bin

Our family's rubbish reduction challenge

What are we going to do? Who will do it? When will we do it? How much will it cost? When is it  done?
e.g. Put a paper recycling box near the rubbish bin in the family room Name Tomorrow Nothing  

 

Tips for preparing the report about your challenge

  • The tables and graphs of the volumes in each bin.
  • Your family’s’ action plan.
  • How much your family was able to cut the amount of rubbish in the rubbish bin (e.g. halved - from full to half full).
  • What you plan to do in the future.
  • What you learned from the project.