Term 4 Newsletter 2022

Student meet, grants, accreditation, workshops & soft plastics...

WasteSorted Schools logo

As we finish off the school year for 2022, we would like to reflect on the year.

We celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the WasteSorted Schools program, the second annual Student Meet, 48 grant recipients, schools reaching their 5 and 10 year accreditation milestone, many successful workshops, and all the wonderful work you have done in your schools to avoid and recover waste and engage students and community in long term positive waste behaviours!

20 years of being waste wise

On 9th November, we celebrated 20 years of the WasteSorted Schools program, formerly known as Waste Wise Schools, with a fun evening of awards, presentations, a garden market stall, games and giveaways, music by Junkadelic band and a birthday cake!

The Chair of the Waste Authority, Elizabeth Carr AM, recognised 8 schools for 13 years of continuous accreditation with the program, since accreditation began in 2010: Belmont Primary School, Boyanup Primary School, Carmel School, Coolbinia Primary School, Hampton Park Primary School, Huntingdale Primary School, Safety Bay Primary School, and Upper Swan Primary School.

She also presented awards to 3 of these schools for the longest standing with the program since its early days and for maintaining a whole of school approach with student involvement, integrating curriculum and involving the wider school community:

  • Boyanup Primary School (regional school)
  • Huntingdale Primary School (metro school)
  • Carmel School (K-12 school).

Attendees heard presentations from 3 schools about their journey with the program: Boyanup Primary School, John Curtin College of the Arts, and Beeliar Primary School (2022 winner of WasteSorted Awards school category). The schools shared their amazing success over the years with projects such as worm farming, composting, veggie gardens that close the loop on organic recycling, electric composting, paper recycling, fashion recycling, collecting containers for change, can tabs, bottle tops and many other waste streams.

We also acknowledge and congratulate all WasteSorted Schools for your ongoing involvement with the program, and to those who have been proactively avoiding and recovering waste beyond accreditation years. You are all making a difference to your students, schools, wider community and to the Western Australian environment!

View our video celebrating 20 years of the program here.

Second annual Student Meet - Students inspiring students!

The second annual Student Meet was held at John Curtin College of the Arts on 14th September. Over 60 students and staff from 17 secondary schools across the metro area were treated to presentations from 4 inspiring schools:

  • John Curtin College of the Arts
  • St Norbert College
  • Mindarie Senior College
  • Busselton Senior High School.

Attendees toured JCCA to see their sustainability initiatives in action, and participated in activities and brainstorming, all led by the John Curtin students.

Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, founder of Plastic Free July and ex-student of John Curtin College, presented about her sustainability journey – a true example of ‘From little things, big things grow’.

The evening was abuzz with ideas and passion from secondary students wanting to drive change in waste and sustainability at their school. We can’t wait to hear about your progress at next year’s Student Meet!

WasteSorted Schools grants

Is your local school one of the 48 recently awarded a WasteSorted Schools grant? More than $164,500 has been shared this round for projects ranging from recycling hubs and composting systems, to worm farms and worm tea brewing systems, Containers for Change, green canteens and student green teams.

Check out the recent recipients that were announced by the Minister for Environment here.


For more school grant information please visit the WasteSorted Schools website.

5 and 10 Year accreditations

Congratulations to the following schools who have achieved 5 and 10 year accreditations!

You will receive your letters of recognition in the mail early Term 1!

5 Year Accreditations

  • Alkimos Beach Primary School
  • Aquinas College
  • Australind Senior High School
  • Christmas Island District High School
  • Lake Monger Primary School
  • Mundaring Christian College - Secondary Campus
  • North Woodvale Primary School
  • Orelia Primary School
  • Our Lady Of Lourdes School - Dardanup
  • Port Hedland Primary School
  • Sorrento Primary School
  • South Bunbury Primary School
  • South West John Calvin Christian College
  • Spring Hill Primary School
  • St Lawrence's Primary School
  • St Luke's Catholic Primary School
  • St Mary's College
  • Walpole Primary School

10 Year Accreditations

  • Albany Primary School
  • Applecross Primary School
  • Capel Primary School
  • Davallia Primary School
  • Duncraig Primary School
  • Highgate Primary School
  • Hocking Primary School
  • John Curtin College Of The Arts
  • Madeley Primary School
  • Newton Moore Education Support Centre
  • Richmond Primary School
  • Subiaco Primary School
  • West Byford Primary School
  • Winterfold Primary School
  • Yale Primary School

Workshops for sorting school waste

As Covid restrictions eased, we were able to offer many workshops this year to support you in getting your school waste sorted. We shared information and ideas to avoid single-use plastics, process organic waste through composting and worm farming, learned how to make worm tea, beeswax wraps, set up waste stations at school, some tips for encouraging behaviour change, and how to engage students and develop a whole school approach to waste avoidance and recovery.

We look forward to doing it all, and more, again in 2023! Check our website for event information and registration.

Soft plastic collections for schools

We are aware that the recent challenges faced by REDcycle means that soft plastic recycling has been put on hold for most people across Australia, including schools.

Unfortunately the recycling industry is still growing and catching up to the growing demand by Australians that we minimise our waste and recycle what we can.  It’s not always easy and doesn’t always work as we want it to.

The good that has come out of this is that the need for a national approach to soft plastic recycling got a lot of attention through the media.  We are told that the Australian government is working with the various stakeholders to find a solution to soft plastics recycling as soon as possible.  Watch this space.

In the meantime, this is a reminder that the best way to reduce soft plastic waste is to avoid it in the first place.  Where it’s unavoidable, to prevent potential issues with storing soft plastics for an unknown period of time, it is recommended that you place the soft plastics in the red topped bin destined for landfill.

WasteSorted Schools have several fun and informative resources available to help schools avoid single use plastic waste: https://www.wasteauthority.wa.gov.au/wss/activities/view/reducing-single-use-plastic .

Free Food Waste Program Opportunity for High Schools to get in before 31 December 2022!

The FEAST that high schools have been waiting for!

Sign up before 31 December to access the program for free in 2023.

OzHarvest FEAST is now available to all year 7 & year 8 students!

FEAST (Food Education and Sustainability Training) is a curriculum-aligned program which explores the issue of food waste and its environmental impact, healthy eating and easy classroom cooking. The program runs for 10 weeks and addresses the Australian Curriculum in Design and Technologies and Food Specialisations content.

FEAST is designed to be flexible and can be adapted to any school needs. Online professional development training is provided for teachers to confidently implement the program.

When enrolling to FEAST, teachers receive a full curriculum package including lessons, recipes, students workbook, access to teacher training and support from the OzHarvest’s FEAST team. If needed, food vouchers, a kitchen kit and electric frypans are available to make cooking in the classroom accessible.

For more information and to register your interest, visit www.ozharvest.org/feast  or email feast@ozharvest.org .

New staff joining the WasteSorted Schools team!

We are welcoming 3 new staff to the WasteSorted Schools team in the new year. We look forward to introducing them to you and sharing the expertise that they will bring to the program.

Merry Christmas!

From all of us at the WasteSorted Schools team, we thank you and congratulate you on another wonderful year of waste reduction.

We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a relaxing and refreshing break. See you again in 2023! 

For more information about the WasteSorted Schools Program, please contact us at wastesortedschools@dwer.wa.gov.au or visit the website, www.wastesortedschools.wa.gov.au