Published on 14 January 2019

School excels at less-to-landfill challenge

Nude food is cool, worms are heroes and Wally the Wipe Out Waste Wizard makes students laugh — and think. These are only a few of the elements of a waste reduction program that has educated, inspired and changed the behaviour of Moana Primary School’s whole community.

Wanting to minimise waste, the school put its hand up for an audit by the City of Onkaparinga’s Waste and Recycling Education team. That was term one last year and a comparison audit followed in term four, with results exceeding expectations.

Lunchboxes have less packaging, there is a recycling boom, the worm farm converts food scraps to compost, and the classroom bins are emptied once a week rather than once a day. The canteen leads by example, with students saying it has “changed 100 per cent”. Ice creams are now served in compostable cones rather than branded packaging and plastic straws and cups have been replaced with paper products.

“We live by the water, so it’s been amazing to see the students recognise that what they throw away impacts the place where we live and love,” says Principal Kelly Patch. “But we are now minimising our waste and I’d like to thank our whole school community — students, parents and staff — for embracing the practices we’ve learned through the council’s educational program.”

Commending the school for reducing its waste by more than two tonnes, Onkaparinga’s Waste and Recycling Education Officer, Malinda Roberts, says she is excited and encouraged by the change.

“There’s a massive reduction in the volume of waste diverted from landfill. I’m so impressed with how enthusiastic everyone is to reduce, reuse and recycle. It’s not just one person driving the change, it’s the whole school; the students, staff, and families.

“This is a micro community making a real difference to our environment, and this will filter into the wider community.”

A gold star goes to Moana Primary School for reducing its annual waste to landfill by 2.2 tonnes or 32.8m3. That is the equivalent of 235 red-lidded wheelie bins per year, simply by reducing, reusing and recycling.

To book in your school for a waste audit, or to enquire about presentations, programs and resources visit or phone the Waste and Recycling Education team on 8384 0128.

Year 6 students Miley, Damon, Milla and Leroy participate in a waste audit conducted by Onkaparinga’s Waste and Recycling team.