The Orana Steiner School was recently successful in obtaining a grant through the Department of Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water (DECCEW) to implement a public project called “Wastebusters”.
The project involves Orana Steiner School students (predominately represented by the “Stars of Hope” community support group) conducting a large scale waste sorting effort at public events – similar to that already undertaken on a daily basis in their classroom. Essentially their effort is to help the public sort their rubbish more effectively at each event ensuring that more waste was diverted to compost and recycling – rather than land fill.
Since their establishment in 2010, Wastebusters have conducted waste sorting at major events including the 2010 Tropfest Short Film Festival (held in Commonwealth Park attended by 23,500 people), Festival of the Forests (held at the National Arboretum and attended by 7,500 people) and the Australian National Botanic Gardens 40th.
At each event, organisers directed the public to take their rubbish to a centrally located waste sorting area instead of placing bins around the area. At each waste sorting area, the Wastebuster volunteers helped guide the public to place their waste into the correct colour coded waste bucket, which is then transferred by the students into larger storage bins.
The result at this year’s Tropfest was significant with more than 1 tonne (or 50% of total event waste) re-directed to compositing or recycling depots rather than landfill – whereas previously all waste had been sent to land fill). What was also pleasing was that 100% of the content collected in the compost bins was compostable (as reported by the collection contractor – Able Organics).
In return for their involvement, the Orana student volunteers received a financial donation from the event organisers towards their respective
environmental and community causes (such as Room to Read).
The project is administered by Tom-Tom Marketing & Events on behalf of the Orana Steiner School.
Event organisers who are interested in utilising the service or would like further information can contact Jennifer Salkeld via [email protected] or phone (02) 6296 7005.