Melbourne Australia

SFSF - Schools For a Sustainable Future
Joseph Natoli, SFSF Project Director, surrounded by happy, enthusiastic children
Nillumbik Shire Council
November 1999

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Worming into the Community
at DCEPS - Diamond Creek East Primary School

While students at Diamond Creek East Primary School were aware of environmental issues, there was a need to extend their knowledge and understandings to include waste minimisation and recycling. It was important to highlight the amount of rubbish our school produced on a daily basis and the implications of this on our natural resources, the environment and its impact on the future.

In May 1999 Joseph Natoli from Schools For a Sustainable Future visited two classes in the Challenge area, (Grade 3/4) at DCEPS and discussed ideas regarding minimisation of rubbish in the environment. He set up two worm farms which generated enthusiasm from the students immediately. They conducted simple experiments and observed worm behaviour when different food scraps were fed to them.

The students then decided to involve the whole school in a program to reduce the amount of food scraps going to landfill. An audit was undertaken by these students over a two week period and then two worm composts were set up to service the organic waste needs of the school.

The Challenge students, as "Environmental Mangers" at DCEPS, monitor compost, paper and rubbish bins in each classroom, staffroom and the Out of Hours room and record how well each room sorts its rubbish. They are in charge of the daily collection of food scraps and the general maintenance of the worm farms. They are also responsible for the collection of paper and cardboard waste throughout the school.

Many students became interested in setting up worm farms at home and with the assistance of Joe Natoli and the support of their families a large number of students have done so. They are rapt in the progress of their home worm compost!

The next step for the students was to spread the word to the local community. They brainstormed ideas for the development of a leaflet that could be distributed through a letter box drop. The design and production of a Reduce, Reuse, Recycle leaflet is the latest development in the program at DCEPS.


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Schools For a Sustainable Future

1 Curdies St.
E. Bentleigh Vic. 3165
Joe Natoli
Ph: (03) 9579-7224     Fax: (03) 9579-6153      Mobile: 0411-568-523


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