Perth schools celebrate a decade of being wise with waste

Coolbinia Primary School was one of 18 schools across Western Australia celebrated this week for achieving 10 years as a Waste Wise accredited school. The local member, Hon Alanna Clohesy, MLC, presented the school’s Principal and Waste Wise coordinator with a sign and certificate at the morning assembly on Thursday, 7 November to mark the occasion – thanking the children, staff and parents for their commitment to the program.

Waste Wise student ambassadors, Waste Wise Coordinator Rebekah Melville, Principal Paul Westcott and Hon. Alanna Clohesy, MLC 

While 18 schools reached the 10-year milestone of consecutively renewing their accreditation since the program began, a total of 491 schools are accredited in the Waste Wise School Program.

Program provides schools with the foundation for success

Administered by the Waste Authority of Western Australia, the Waste Wise School accreditation program started in 2010 with the aim of recognising and celebrating the waste reduction and recovery efforts being undertaken in schools.

Schools must complete a number of steps to become accredited including:

  • run a waste audit to collect data on the waste produced at school
  • form a Waste Wise committee to plan, implement and evaluate Waste Wise projects
  • write a whole-of-school waste policy so the wider school community is aware of the school’s waste avoidance and recovery commitment
  • formulate a waste avoidance and recovery plan.

Schools must re-apply for annual accreditation.

Coolbinia Primary school a stand-out performer

Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said Coolbinia Primary School was a fantastic Waste Wise school that embedded sustainability throughout its school culture and programs.

The School runs a range of Waste Wise projects, such as the 200-tonne carbon reduction plan, which encourages the school community to recycle and acts to enhance biodiversity as well as save water and energy.

It has also received three Waste Wise grants from the Waste Authority WA, which have enabled it to set up organics recycling (worms, compost and chickens), paper recycling and educational signage, as well as projects that teach students to repair old bikes and re-use old wheelbarrows for garden beds.

National recycling week runs from 11–17 November.

Coolbinia Primary School’s Cool Green School sign and veggie beds with interpretive signage