The school's Waste Wise policy states that, "by example Watheroo Primary School becomes a community leader in reducing waste to landfill and the Watheroo Community will embrace the 3R values and become a viable, invaluable partner and collaborator within the school, resulting in positive environmental awareness, actions and outcomes."
Watheroo Primary joined the Waste Wise program in 2008 and is committed to the values of the 3Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle). Teachers proudly state that the school produces "99 per cent zero waste". Children receive lessons and instruction on the values of the 3Rs, including an understanding of the different materials that are recycled, and how and where to recycle.
The school shreds non reusable paper, which is added to the school's compost system and stored for community use in chicken pens or as mulch in gardens. The compost is also made from organic school waste, and is then used on the vegetable gardens. This process provides a valuable learning tool for students, enabling the development of environmentally responsible behaviours.
In collaboration with the Moora Shire the Waste Wise $10,000 Waste and Sustainability grant has helped the school to build a recycling shed, which is also used as a collection point for community recycling from surrounding properties. This has provided the children with an opportunity to involve adults in the learning process about the 3Rs.
The school has developed strong partnerships with the local recycling business and the Moora Shire, and has strengthened school links with community groups such as the Development Association. These partnerships are invaluable in providing community integration with the school. The shed ensures that reuse remains a key focus and that people think before reaching for a waste or recycling bin. This is done through disseminating valuable tips and statistics through assemblies, open days and school newsletters.
The shed also provides storage for non reusable items such as ink cartridges, batteries and mobile phones, which are collected by Planet Ark, HP Planet partners and Mobile Muster. Aluminium pull tops and cans are separated and benefit charities.
The school was the state Tidy Town's finalist for recycling and waste management.