Growing good waste habits

Holly ThompsonSound Telegraph
Year 2 and 3 students Eli Crosby, Joshua Gales, Sofia Marino, Layla Thomas, Bede Smith and Harper Watson get their hands dirty in one of the vegetable patches.
Camera IconYear 2 and 3 students Eli Crosby, Joshua Gales, Sofia Marino, Layla Thomas, Bede Smith and Harper Watson get their hands dirty in one of the vegetable patches. Credit: Holly Thompson/ Sound Telegraph/Holly Thompson

A grant of more than $7000 has been awarded to Mother Teresa Catholic College in Baldivis, to help teachers expand the sustainability program.

A total of 20 WA schools have shared in more than $62,000 for projects to reduce waste disposed to landfill, after being awarded grants under the Waste Wise Schools program for 2020.

Environment minister Stephen Dawson kicked off the 18th year of the program, which provides funding for new compost systems through to improving recycling systems.

Primary students at Mother Teresa are always happy to get their hands dirty in the schools’ sustainability garden and the $7531 grant will help expand this garden.

Sustainability teacher Helen McClenaghan put the grant application together and said the growing number of students would all benefit.

“This is the third grant we have received for this sustainability centre, we had to record everything we were doing and show how we were reducing, reusing and recycling,” she said.

“We then had to discuss what we would be doing with the grant to help the school move forward.”

Ms McClenaghan said as the school was going from two-stream to three-stream, they needed more vegetable gardens and more soil and equipment to cater for the increased student numbers.

“We also want a shade house so we can start planting seeds rather than buying seedlings,” she said.

“We have had the garden running since 2016 and have used past grants to make worm farms, purchase gardening gloves and more.

Harper Watson and Eli Crosby show off their school’s worm farm.
Camera IconHarper Watson and Eli Crosby show off their school’s worm farm. Credit: Holly Thompson/ Sound Telegraph

“We are very grateful for this new grant as it can help us move the garden forward and cater for the increased number of students.”

Environment minister Stephen Dawson said the program was an important part of the State Government’s commitment to a target of 75 per cent of waste generated in WA being reused or recycled by 2030.

“The Waste Wise Schools accreditation program is an important part of this commitment, as the values we teach our children are the ones that the community will have in the future,” he said.

“The program is part of a wider range of strategic waste reforms, including our ban on lightweight plastic bags, the introduction of a container deposit scheme this year, and consideration of further options for reducing single-use plastics following extensive public consultation.”

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