Department of Education

Sustainable Schools WA

Sustainable Schools WA

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Blue Gum Montessori


Aluminium Can Recycling

The catalyst for the can recycling project at Blue Gum Montessori was students’ research in to the cost and resources required to produce (new and ‘recycled’) aluminium cans.

The project was established within the context of a whole-school recycling program.

A large sack provided by a local company is located at the school for students and families to deposit their aluminium cans for recycling. The cans are saved until the sack is full and then transported to the company’s property by parent volunteers.

The aluminium is then weighed and the school is paid accordingly for their deposit. Each sack of aluminium cans is worth approximately $15 and the money generated through the program is directed into the school funds ad spent on priority projects. For example, funds are currently being directed into the school grounds to assist in the establishment of the new campus ‘water wise’ gardens.

The coordination of this project is now being handled by a parent as one of the ‘Term Jobs’ taken on by school parents.

Students are responsible for going through the cans once a week and detaching the ring-pulls which are collected separately and donated to the ‘Wheelchairs for Kids’ initiative. Students collect and record data pertaining to the ring-pulls.

As well as being used as a fundraiser, the ring pulls are used as a Maths resource within the lower Primary classes.

Overall the school has found the aluminium can recycling project to be largely easy to establish, which was a priority given that there is so much going on within the school community it was imperative that the project be simple and easy to manage.

The ‘Waste Wise Shed’

Blue Gum’s involvement in the Department of Environment and Conservation’s Waste Wise Schools Program led to their eligibility for a $500 grant, allowing the school to establish the ‘Waste Wise Shed’. Once fully completed, the Waste Wise Shed will be a resource centre for staff and students full of reusable products including glass jars, shredded paper, egg containers, magazines, collage materials, wood scraps and material. The staff are each provided with a list so they know what is available through the Shed and classes are free to use the resources they need or deposit their own reusable products.

If a staff member is looking for a particular resource that is not in the shed a request is put out to parents.

The program was an easy project to get underway even as the school was establishing its new campus as it is not time consuming and easily involves all year levels as well as school families. The project has the added bonus of generating a small income stream for the school.

Curriculum Links:
Maths: Working Mathematically; Measurement; Chance and Data
Science: Acting Responsibly
Society and Environment: Resources; Active Citizenship

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Blue Gum Montessori

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