Waste education


Council is dedicated to promoting good recycling habits and waste minimisation techniques to our community.

By thinking about your waste habits you can help reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill.

If you are a school, community group, local organisation or workplace, you can request a tailored waste education training session, presented by Council’s Waste Education Officer.

Waste education sessions

If you are a school, community group, local organisation or workplace you can request a tailored waste education training session presented by Council’s Waste Education Officer.

Session topics include:

  • Using the four-bin system and correctly sorting waste
  • FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics)
  • Waste reduction and minimisation
  • Waste audit

Other topics may be available on request.

To arrange a session, register your interest by completing our waste education session request form and our Waste Education Officer will contact you. 

Waste education resources

Council has a variety of resources available for schools, businesses and venues to help assist with sorting waste and encourage good recycling habits.

You can view the Let's get sorted guide online or download the A3 Let's get sorted poster(PDF, 5MB).

Printable bin signage posters, suitable for printing in A3 or A4 for your classroom, staffroom or sorting station:

See activity and worksheets for blank customisable templates.

Practical Activities

Low waste and reuse activities

Looking for some low or zero waste activities? Here are some fun suggestions for the home or classroom that can be adapted for all age groups.

Recycle - Create a sorting and recycling station

Sorting your waste may seem like a daunting task, but customising bins around your home, school or workplace makes recycling easy. 

You don’t need to buy anything new, try repurposing (and redecorating) baskets, boxes or buckets.

Tip: You can use the pre-made templates in the activity and worksheet section.

Reduce - Conduct a waste audit

What does your home or classroom throw away the most? The best way to reduce waste is to know what is used the most and how these could be replaced with sustainable alternatives. 

What you need:


  • Put on some gloves and, if conducting audit indoors, place newspaper or tarp down to prevent mess.
  • Tip contents of the bin you are auditing on the ground.
  • Sort the waste items into categories. For example: rigid plastics, soft plastics, paper, cardboard, non-recyclables.
  • Count the items in each category and record on a piece of paper or activity sheet.
  • If you have scales, weigh each category.
  • Things to think about when auditing the general waste bin:
    • Are there any recyclable items that could go in the recycling or glass bin?
    • Are there items that could be taken to a resource recovery facility and recycled?
    • Are there any food scraps or organic materials that could go in a compost bin, worm farm or FOGO bin?
  • Determine the most commonly thrown away items.
  • Can you find a sustainable alternative that could be used instead? Get creative with your thinking. Here are some common examples:
    • Replace takeaway coffee cups with a reusable cup.
    • Replace plastic produce bags with reusable fabric ones.
    • Reduce water bottles with a refillable drink bottle.
    • Buying products in bulk often means less packaging.
    • Replace tissues with handkerchiefs.
    • Use reusable containers and jars instead of foil and cling wrap.
  • Share this information with your family or class.
  • Discuss how you could make changes and reduce waste together.
  • With this new knowledge, try conducting another waste audit in 4 weeks time and see if you've reduced the number of items in your rubbish/general waste bin.

When you're finished, remember to sort your waste into the right bins and clean up.

Reuse - Regrow food from scraps

Did you know you can regrow fruit and vegetables from scraps? This is a fun activity where you can reduce waste, save money on groceries and learn about how plants grow.

There are lots of different ways to regrow food, this is a simple method to get you started.

What you need:

  • Shallow bowl or dish
  • Water
  • Base of left over vegetable such as lettuce, celery or cabbage 


  • In a shallow dish or bowl, place the root base of your vegetable in water.
  • Place in a sunny, warm position like a window sill.
  • Check on your veggie daily but be patient.
  • Change the water every couple of days.
  • Once you have lots of roots, you can plant the veggie directly into your garden.

Tip: One of the easiest and quickest vegetables to regrow are spring onions.

Reuse - Turn an old shirt into a tote bag

What do you do when your favourite t-shirt no longer fits or the collar is overstretched? Give that shirt a second life by turning it into a no-sew tote bag! This step by step guide shows you how. 

Reuse - Upcycle into seedling pots

Toilet paper rolls and egg cartons are common items that could be re-used in gardening. This method for planting seeds can reduce plastic waste and help avoid delicate seedling roots getting tangled by keeping the seedlings separated. 

What you need:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Watering can or spray bottle
  • Potting mix
  • Seeds
  • Waterproof tray or container


  • With your scissors, cut the toilet rolls in half. Then make some small 2cm cuts in one end of the roll and fold in ends flat like you're closing a box.
  • Place the pots in the waterproof tray or container. Fill the pots with moist potting mix, place seeds at the recommended depth (found on the seed packet). Cover with potting mix and water. (The waterproof tray prevents water from leaking everywhere.)
  • Place in a sunny, warm position like a window sill.
  • Check on your seeds daily and keep the soil moist. Within days you will see your seedlings starting to sprout.
  • Once your seedling is strong enough, you can plant straight into the garden.

Tip: Remember to label your seeds when you plant. You can re-use icy pole sticks for this.

Reuse - Create a mini hothouse for seeds

Not sure what to do with those leftover fruit and veg punnets? Perhaps you’ve got a plastic storage container not in use? You can even use plastic bottles for this activity.

Any plastic container can be turned into a mini hothouse for speeding up seed germination (great for the colder months!). This list has lots of creative re-use ideas to get your garden sprouting.

Reuse - Make an insect or bee hotel

A healthy garden has a varied ecosystem. Help bugs find a home in your garden by building a bug hotel made out of items found around your home and garden. 

The hotel can be as big or as small as you’d like. This tutorial shows how to make a large insect hotel, but you may want to start smaller like in this guide

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. The internet is full of great blogs, videos and how-to-guides. Get creative and have fun with repurposing waste!

Activity and worksheets

Meet Kerby our bin mascot

Our bin mascot, Kerby, is the face of our Let’s Get Sorted waste and recycling campaign. Kerby is part of our ongoing community waste education activities and is looking forward to visiting schools and events around the Shire.

Which bin does the mascot represent?

Our bin mascot represents all four Macedon Ranges Shire Council bins.

  • When wearing their lime green FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) hat, Kerby loves to collect all food and garden waste and turn it into compost for local farms, parks and gardens!
  • When wearing their yellow recycling hat, Kerby loves to collect recyclable materials and turn them into new items.
  • When wearing their purple glass-only hat, Kerby loves to collect glass and turn it into roads and new glass items.
  • When wearing their red general waste hat, Kerby loves to collect the leftover items that can’t yet be recycled or composted and takes them to a landfill facility.


Where did the name come from?

The winning name for our new bin mascot was selected from over 70 competition entries made by local families and school students during our bin mascot naming competition that ran during 2020. ‘Kerby’ was entered by Alexander from Romsey. Alexander won a brand new worm farm made from recycled plastics for his entry.  

Thank you to all of the residents who entered the competition.

Can Kerby attend my event?

Kerby, is passionate about getting out into the community to spread the word about recycling and good sorting habits. If you are a school or holding a community event, Kerby may be able to attend your event pending availability. Get in touch with our Resource Recovery Team on (03) 5422 0333 to discuss your event.