Last Wednesday we were fortunate to have Fiona and Alice from Reground (click to open) visit and conduct a waste audit with the Arlington community. They toured the grounds, to get an idea of how we currently organise waste collection, and how many recycling streams the School already had in place. They then collected some kilograms of waste from our bins to see what we are using, what we are disposing of, and whether there might be ways we can stop a quantity from going to landfill.
The whole day was planned so that each child could visit the audit site set up in our Kevin Borland Hall, sort some of our waste, wearing protective gloves, and ask questions. Our very own Rob Gillett, former Channel Nine Chief Cameraman, worked with and guided Albert and Finn to record the day in still photos and also live footage. They did a great job as you can see!
Fiona and Alice were ably assisted by parents Amelia and Angelica (thank you for your support!), in preparing for the audit, welcoming groups of children to come and do some sorting and having conversations about what they were identifying. I spent time with the Peppercorns, when they visited the audit. Our children had lots of questions about recycling streams and what the monetary value of recyclables might be.
We then invited Fiona and Alice to stay for our Whole School Meeting to share back with the community some preliminary findings. And it gave our community another opportunity to share thoughts and ask questions. Some of the things shared were:
- Do we need more bins?
- Where should the bins be located?
- The largest amount of waste was cardboard and paper – we might have predicted that!
- Would chickens help us reduce waste?
- How might we raven-proof the bins as they sometimes pull things out to eat?
- And the Kindergarten children shared that they had picked up rubbish in the playground, and found that it was mostly plastic.
Perhaps the greatest gift to come from this audit is placing our children into the position of seeing themselves as problem solvers, and not the cause. While there is much work ahead, our Arlington children are emboldened to take this on, through the thoughtful, non-judgmental and passionate work of the Reground Team.