Recycling initiatives for Rockhampton region schools

Primary and secondary schools throughout the Rockhampton Region will have the opportunity to significantly reduce recycling service charges by signing up and actively participating in the Central Queensland Local Government Association's (CQLGA) EarthSmart Schools Program.

Chair of Rockhampton Regional Council's Health and Regulatory Services Committee Tony Williams said recycling is currently charged per bin and with some schools having in excess of 10 bins, recycling can become a very costly exercise.

"By signing up and participating in the EarthSmart Schools Program, Rockhampton Regional Council will reduce their recycling fees and only charge schools for one recycling service regardless of the number of recycling services received," he said.

"It makes sense to reward schools for being environmentally conscious by increasing their recycling and reducing their general waste.

The Hall State School is one school taking part in the EarthSmart Schools Program and has implemented significant recycling strategies at a grass roots level involving students, the Parents and Citizens Association and staff.

Everything is recycled at the Hall State School from everyday materials and organics using a worm farm, chooks and soldier flies to old mobile phones and computers.

The aim of the EarthSmart Schools Program is to reduce school waste to landfill by 50 per cent over three years. Reducing the amount of organic waste in our landfills means there will be less greenhouse gas emissions harming the environment.

It would be a great achievement to have the 57 schools located in the Rockhampton Region participating in this program alongside the Hall State School.

Waste minimisation practices make a real difference to our environment providing long term benefits for future generations."

The program assists schools to implement strategies to reduce their waste through recycling, composting/worm farms, and the nude food policy.

An important component of this program is education. By participating in the EarthSmart Schools Program, the whole school can partake in the Recycling Heroes education program. Students are engaged in a fun way to learn about the importance and positive outcomes for waste minimization practices.

Tony Williams said as the population continues to grow so does the amount of waste we generate.

"Recycling is one of the most positive impacts we can have on the world in which we live - we must act now to protect our environment."