Enviro grants help local schools become more sustainable

Kempsey Shire Council

School kids with recycle sign

Schools from the Macleay Sustainable Schools Network were awarded funding as part of the first Enviro Grants program. More than 500 local eco warriors are making their schools more sustainable, while sharing the reduce waste and recycle better messages with family and friends.

Sustainability Officer Jess Marsh, said the range of projects undertaken shows the enthusiasm for schools to act more sustainably and focus on better waste management including recycling, food production and reduction in food waste

‘Projects included a new recycling station, a more efficient waste management system and new composting solutions to support an onsite veggie garden. Students are now more aware of keeping waste out of landfill by recycling, upcycling and reusing what they already have,’ Ms Marsh said.

A total of 11 schools received grants including St Joseph’s Primary School, Aldavilla Public School and Frederickton Out of School Hours Care (OSHC).

Alarna Garthon, Michelle Tarrant, and Angie Hagger, teachers at St Joseph’s Primary School, agree the funding allowed students to create an engaging sustainability hub to remind the entire school community of the importance of managing their waste every day.

‘The students co-designed an amazing mural with a local graffiti artist Pat Indo to bring colour and brightness to our sustainability hub. The space is constantly used to promote conversations and awareness of what we recycle at St Joseph’s.

We’ve already seen an increase in students bringing in items for recycling and we’ve noticed more care taken particularly in the recycling of paper. We are very grateful to have received this grant and know it will continue to have a positive impact on our students and their environment,’ Ms Garthon said.

Jessica Pritchard of Frederickton OSHC said the funding enabled the establishment of a new veggie garden and gardening equipment for the children to use.

“We want students to see the process of composting and growing food and how they can be combined to form a cycle that provides us with sustainable food sources. We also teach our students that putting scraps into the compost will also reduce the food waste going to landfill, ” Ms Pritchard said.

Aldavilla Public School used the grant to relocate their existing recycling station. Kitchen and garden specialist Gaye Dufty said relocating the recycling station next to the classroom worm farms made better sense and it’s now much easier for food scraps to be recycled.

“The grant helped us take our recycling to the next level. Amongst other outcomes, the green bin is sorted each day into composting scraps, worm farm food & pig scraps. The grant has enabled our school to improve the look of our recycling centre as well as making it a more user friendly, streamlined and time saving activity each day.” Mrs Dufty said.

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