Waste Audit Promotes Science Literacy, Environmental Education and Social Issues
Two weeks ago our school took place in a waste audit. I think in a growing city like Toronto and all around the world our garbage is a massive problem. A critical way to look at the waste is having a waste audit. Samples from garbage and recycling bins were taken around our school to see if we are recycling properly, did the recycling have garbage and was there any unnecessary waste. The students taking part in the audit had a first hand look at the waste the student body created by sorting every single piece and recording data. We also invited classes down to view the process and talk about their role in the process.
From the audit the data will be published on our wiki http://ecocare.wikispaces.com
We have decided to pair all garbage cans with recycling bins so students have a choice. The students are also making signs showing common errors in recycling. For example juice boxes can go in the blue bin but the straw must be removed. Coffee cups are often mistaken as recyclable, which they are not so the only choice is to bring them back to the store as Tim Horton’s has their own recycling for the paper cups with wax lining.
This was a hands on lesson of science and social issues. The students all came to the conclusion that we need to reduce the garbage in the first place, re-use where possible and recycle properly. Planting the seed of waste minimization was important as they are the next generation and can start now buy introducing recycling to their families and be smart consumers. Thanks to EcoSchools (http://ontarioecoschools.org/) for coming in to do the audit and Mr. Tait, the admin team and most importantly the students involved!
The Eco Team sorting through the first bag!
All these recyclables were in the garbage!