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Zero Waste

Knowing how much waste your school or centre generates, where it goes and how much it costs, will help you plan actions and measure your progress towards becoming a Zero Waste school or centre.

What data will we collect?

  • The annual cost of waste management at your school or centre - gathered from financial records.
  • A snapshot of the waste stream from one day that includes:
    • The amount of waste going to landfill 
    • The amount that you are recycling and composting. 

How much time will it take?

if you are working with someone who is familiar with the process, the waste audit will take approximately two hours - including setting up and packing away.  If it is the first time for everyone on the team, you might want to allow more time.

The time taken to prepare for the audit will vary depending on the how your centre or school chooses to approach it.   For example,  the audit may be undertaken by a class group as part of a unit based on the Zero Waste theme area, or the enviro-group at a secondary school may take it on as a project to raise awareness of the issue of waste with the wider school population.   Whatever the context, it is a good idea to do some preparation at least a week before you do the audit, so you can work through the resources and get everyone ready.

Resources to download:

1. Teacher Support Activities - Waste to provide a context for the waste audit.  Includes both pre and post audit activities.

2. Instructions and Data Collection Sheets - Waste to guide you through the waste audit process. 

3. Waste Audit Summary Sheet to record your results before you upload them into Measuring Change.  

You will also need:

  • To talk to your administration staff to get information on the cost of waste disposal for your school or centre.
  • To talk to your administration staff and caretaker to help set up the audit, making sure that everyone in the school/ centre is aware of when are where the audit will take place. 
  • Access to waste storage areas and waste collection bins around the school/ centre.
  • Waste Audit equipment including rubbish bags, sorting boxes, weighing scales, gloves, health and safety equipment, cleaning gear and a tarpaulin (a full equipment list is included in the instructions).

What will be in our Zero Waste Report?

Once you have completed the audit and enetered the data from your Waste Audit Summary into Measuring Change, you will get a report summarising this data. It will show the cost and amount of waste each person at your school/ cenre sends to landfill and how much waste per person is recycled and composted. Over time as you submit more data you will we able to see the progress you're making to reduce your waste.