Treasure not trash - Kids get hands on with the circular economy

24th Nov 2022 | 

On Tuesday 1st November Dunalley Primary School students were the first in Tasmania to experience a unique educational excursion aimed at teaching young people the importance of minimising landfill and maximising recycling to power the circular economy.

Image: © Eddie Safarik

Developed by Southern Waste Solutions, in partnership with Mornington Park Waste Transfer Station and Landcare Tasmania, the Let’s Explore Waste program demonstrates waste disposal and recycling in action, teaching students to better understand their waste consumption and disposal habits.

Image: © Eddie Safarik

Featuring an on-site visit to the Mornington Park Waste Transfer Station and the Copping Landfill, the program aims to equip young Tasmanians with strategies for reducing waste as well as ways of disposing their own waste properly.

Image: © Eddie Safarik

In addition, students got to explore the properties of disposed and recycled material, understand how they are processed and consider how Tasmanians can play a crucial role in minimising and managing waste for future generations.

Southern Waste Solutions CEO, Chris Adekunle, said the program provided an up-close look at how large-scale waste management occurred, helping them to understand that despite the scale, every decision made by members of our community regarding waste and recycling contributed to this cycle.

“Our education program aims to provide a step-by-step demonstration of what happens to people’s rubbish, showing students how the transfer station and landfill work to preserve our natural environment by recycling green waste, whitegoods, glass and plastics, paper, gas bottles, batteries and all types of metal and by responsibly managing non-recyclable waste into landfill,” Mr Adekunle said.

“We want to reinforce the importance of them making good decisions about waste and recycling now and into the future.”

Image: © Eddie Safarik

Mornington Park Waste Transfer Station Managing Director Wesley Hazell said the transfer station was an ideal classroom for teaching children about waste and waste management.

Image: © Eddie Safarik

“The transfer station is an integrated waste management facility specifically designed to minimise the disposal of valuable resources,” Mr Hazell said.

“It processes between 50,000 and 70,000 tonnes of waste material every year – the equivalent of 10 Olympic-sized swimming pools of waste. Around 40 per cent of this is diverted from landfill by on-site sorting and processing, while the other 60 per cent is transported from Mornington to the Copping landfill facility.”

Image: © Eddie Safarik

This partnership contributes greatly to Landcare Tasmania's Education program for schools. These activities will be a way to increase student awareness of their impacts on the environment and provide positive ways to reduce waste and help others to do the same.   This is the start of an ongoing school education program in partnership with Southern Waste Solutions focussing on waste education.

Image: © Eddie Safarik

It was a really great day out and the students quickly got to work sourcing tiles for a school garden mosaic.  Check out the news features of the excursion below. 

On WIN News

and Nightly News, coming in at 12:57 

This program is part of Landcare Tasmania's South-East Landscape Program, and Education program.  The excursion has been funded by State Government Landcare Action Grants and Southern Waste Solutions with support from Dunalley Primary School.