Waste education

Waste education sessions 

Council is dedicated to empowering the community to practice good recycling habits and waste minimisation techniques to help reduce waste 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.

Session topics include:

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

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. 
Please note - Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, there may be a delay in confirming in person session dates.

Waste education resources

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

You can view the Let's get sorted guide online or download the A3 Let's get sorted poster(PDF, 868KB)
FOGO user guides can also be viewed online or downloaded.

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

FOGO bin(PDF, 123KB)
Recycling bin(PDF, 51KB)
Glass-only bin(PDF, 47KB)
General waste bin(PDF, 48KB)
Compost(PDF, 75KB)
E-waste(PDF, 28KB)
Paper and cardboard(PDF, 35KB)
Soft plastics(PDF, 31KB)
Worm farm(PDF, 36KB)

Please see activity and worksheets for blank customisable templates.

Practical activities

Games

Visit the Loddon Mallee Waste and Resource Recovery Group to find online recycling games.

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 activity but customising bins around your home, school or workplace makes recycling easy.

This article and video share some great tips but remember everyone’s space will look different.

You don’t need to buy anything new. Try repurposing baskets, boxes or buckets and decorate them as an activity.

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 we use the most and what reusable alternatives we could replace them with.

What you need:

How:

  • Put on some gloves and if conducting audit indoors, place newspaper or tarp down to prevent mess.
  • Take contents from the bin you are auditing and tip on ground.
  • Sort the waste items in to different categories. For example: rigid plastics, soft plastics, paper, cardboard, non recyclable
  • Count the items in each category and record on your paper or your activity sheet.
  • If you have scales, you could weigh each category.
  • Take note when auditing the general waste bin, are there any recyclable items that could be in the recycling or glass bin?
    Are there items that could be taken to a transfer station and recycled?
    Are there any food scraps or organics 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 bottles.
    Buy some products in bulk which will bring 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 change 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 or if that category weighs less.

Tip: Remember to sort your waste correctly into the right bins at the end and clean up after the audit.

Reuse - Regrow food from scraps

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

The internet is full of many different methods for regrowing from scraps but here is an easy one to get you started.

What you need:

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

How:

  • In a shallow dish or bowl, place the root base of your chosen left over vegetable in water.
  • Place in a sunny, warm position like a window sill.
  • Check on your veggies daily, be patient and within only days you will see them regrowing!
  • Change the water every couple of days.
  • Once you have lots of roots, you can plant directly into soil in 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 over stretched? 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 and are some common everyday items that could be used in the garden. 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
  • Water proof tray or container

How:

  • With your scissors, cut the toilet rolls in half them make some small 2cm cuts in to one end of the roll and fold in ends flat like you would close a box.
  • Place the pots into the waterproof tray or container. Fill the pots with moist potting mix, place seeds at depth as recommended on seed packet. Cover with potting mix and water. (The waterproof tray prevents from water leaking everywhere.)
  • Place in a sunny, warm position like a window sill.
  • Check on your seeds daily, keep soil moist and within days (to weeks depending on seeds) you will see your seedlings start 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 reuse icy pole sticks for this.

Reuse - Create a mini hothouse for seeds

Not sure what to do with those left over berry or vegetable 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 hot house for speeding up seed germination and it is great for colder months. This list has lots of great creative reuse ideas to get your garden sprouting.

Reuse - Make an insect or bee hotel

A healthy garden has an ecosystem full of different insects. Help them find a home in your garden by collecting items and building them a hotel.

The hotel can be as big or small as you’d like, using things from the garden, recyclables or waste. This tutorial shows making a large insect hotel but you may want to smart smaller like some of the examples 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

Here are a range of waste and recycling worksheets for early learning and primary aged students.

Activity sheet

Answer sheet

Audit activity sheet 
PDF(PDF, 371KB) or word(DOCX, 89KB)
 N/A

Colouring sheet - Waste collection truck
PDF(PDF, 655KB) or word(DOCX, 228KB)

N/A

Colouring sheet - Bin Mascot
PDF(PDF, 695KB) or word(DOCX, 149KB)

N/A
Amazing organics activity
PDF(PDF, 548KB) or word(DOCX, 285KB)
PDF(PDF, 522KB) 
word(PDF, 522KB)
Fill in the blank activity
PDF(PDF, 381KB) or word(DOCX, 111KB)
PDF(PDF, 363KB)
word(DOCX, 44KB)
Waste warrior word search
PDF(PDF, 489KB)
PDF(PDF, 659KB)
Which bin do I belong in?
PDF(PDF, 587KB) or word(DOCX, 307KB)
PDF(PDF, 591KB) 
word(DOCX, 318KB)

 

Wrong bin activity
PDF(PDF, 2MB) or word(DOCX, 4MB)
PDF(PDF, 2MB)  
word(DOCX, 4MB)
Blank bin signage templates for 
customisation activity.

Suitable for printing in A3 or A4.

FOGO bin - blank template(PDF, 12KB)
Recycling bin - blank template(PDF, 6KB)
Glass-only bin -blank template(PDF, 5KB)
General waste bin -blank template(PDF, 6KB)
Compost -blank template(PDF, 10KB)
E-waste -blank template(PDF, 4KB)
Paper and cardboard  - blank template(PDF, 7KB)
Soft plastics - blank template(PDF, 6KB)
Worm farm - blank template(PDF, 6KB)
Other waste - blank template(PDF, 4KB)

 N/A