Waste management education from school level

Growing waste problem is the most basic buzz problem in the world. In this era of globalization and capitalism, companies and businesses are rapidly creating and innovating products heavily relying on plastics, e-waste, synthetic fibers, cans, artificial rubber, and artificial polymer. These kinds of raw materials used in products which we use in our daily lives are polluting and destroying our environment. A simple plastic wrapper use in candies and chewing gums here and there can be a spark of land pollution. I see people being selfish in their own world and not caring enough about the growing waste problem and ended up in the conclusion that this is due to illiteracy and lack of literate people around us.
The most basic solution for this problem is to nurture the feeling of responsible citizens not just of the country but the world from an early stage. So, the topic of proper waste management and modern-day solution for these problems should be taught in school level education. This is much important topic to be discussed among today’s generation.

Some of the steps to be considered for making waste management education effective in schools:

Separate waste
Separating waste is the first step in managing your school’s rubbish. Set up bins for the different kinds of waste, and make sure the right bins are used. You should have clearly labeled bins for glass, paper, plastic, cans and for organic waste.

Reduce waste
Avoid sending waste to a landfill. Landfills cause environmental problems, such as unpleasant smells and contaminants and toxins leaching into water and the air. Educate staff and students about using other ways of disposing of waste, such as recycling, reusing and composting.

Reuse waste
Think about reusing waste around the school and the school community, including:
1. Taking lost property to your local opportunity shop
2. Using plastic bags as bin liners or as packaging, instead of bubble wrap
3. Having students make recycled paper and use shredded paper as bedding for pets.

Recycle waste
Contact your local council to find out what can be recycled in your area. Generally, you can recycle:
1. Glass
2. Paper and cardboard
3. Cans
4. Plastic

Make sure recycling bins are used correctly and that the items are clean when they go in the bin.
For recycling to work, educating students and staff is essential. Some local councils help schools to set up recycling programs and educate their staff and students.

Compost organic waste
Separate organic waste like food scraps, plants, paper and lawn clippings from other rubbish.
Use organic waste for composting and teach students about how it works. You can use the compost on the school gardens, saving on the cost of fertilizer and other chemicals. You could set up worm farms, which can be used to teach parts of the curriculum.
Search online for tips about composting. If composting isn't possible:
1. Ask students and teachers to take organic waste home
2. Find out if local farmers want organic waste
3. Keep hens at school and feed them the waste
4. Have the organic waste composted at the local landfill — it’s generally cheaper to drop organic          waste at a landfill than other wastes

Burning waste
Very few schools still use incinerators. They're usually only used at remote schools without easy access to other waste disposal facilities. Incinerators put contaminants into the air and can be a health hazard.

Using an incinerator
If you still have an incinerator and the resource consent to use it:
1. Burn only appropriate materials, for example, don’t burn plastic (the rules for what’s appropriate        are different between areas)                                 
2. Make sure the incinerator is working efficiently
3. Make sure the incinerator is maintained and regularly cleaned.

Landfills, offal holes or waste pits at school
Burying waste on school grounds will almost certainly require resource consent. If you’re thinking of burying rubbish, contact your local council first.
Use a landfill or waste pit only as a last resort because they can:
1. Contaminate groundwater
2. Attract pests and be a health hazard
3. Create unpleasant smells and dust
4. Take up space and must be continuously maintained be very expensive to build and maintain.


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