Department of Education

Sustainable Schools WA

Sustainable Schools WA

Shelley Primary


In 2006 our school decided to take up an invitation from the Regional Resource Recovery Centre (RRRC) to visit their recycling facility in Canning Vale. Over a two day period each class visited the RRRC and both students and staff were amazed and inspired by the recycling taking place. The visits were a talking point for many days, with classes completing follow up activities in the classroom. As a result of this interest and increased awareness a decision was made to begin to more actively implement sustainable practices within the school.

Part of a comprehensive whole-school waste management program (incorporating a student committee overseeing processes), the ‘Recycling Electronics’ project commenced in March 2007 as parents were asking what they could do with items that could not be placed in their domestic yellow-top recycling bins at home, like batteries and mobile phones.

Through on-line research, the ‘Eight Ball Programme’ at Murdoch University was discovered. The Eight Ball Programme is a computer recycling program where Murdoch Computing students take old computer components, strip them down and rebuild them into working computers for donation to those who need them in the community as well as shipping them overseas to third world countries.

Shelley Primary’s Parents and Citizens (P&C) group was successful in receiving a $5000 Community Grant in order to collect and recycle electronics such as old computers, all types of batteries and mobile phones. Using money from the grant, the P&C purchased an old sea container to store the electronics safely, and a parent from our community (who is a sign writer) made and erected a sign at the entrance to the school to inform the local community of our project.

The P&C formed a sub-committee to support the project comprised of interested parents and two staff who meet regularly after school to plan and coordinate implementation. This committee also produced a flyer for distribution in the community to advertise the project.

Our ‘container doors’ were opened for business in April 2007 and by August that year the container was full of old computers and computer parts which presented us with the challenge of how to get it all over to Murdoch University. A large cage trailer was hired and willing and hard working parents delivered 44 monitors, 29 towers, 23 keyboards, 24 printers, 7 scanners and 3 faxes to Murdoch University.

The sea container has been painted with a blue background colour and is in the process of being decorated by the children and includes the slogan ‘Hands Helping Our Environment’. The plan is for all the children at our school to put their hand print in paint on the container and for new groups of students to add their hand print each year.

The project will continue to grow in coming years as our school community is very enthusiastic about the project and continues to spread the word.

A very good working relationship has developed between the school parent body through the P&C and without their enthusiasm and willing support the project would not be possible. This is definitely a Community Partnership project and schools considering implementing a similar initiative need to have a strong working relationship with their school community and a commitment to service for the benefit of others.

Curriculum Links

The Arts: Arts Ideas
Technology and Enterprise: Enterprise
Science: Earth & Beyond
Society and Environment: Resources
Values: Respect and Concern for Others and their Rights; Social and Civic Responsibility; Environmental Responsibility

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Shelley Primary

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