Recycling is so much a way of life these days but that doesn’t mean the message has got through to everyone.
Vast quantities of household waste continues to go to landfill, a fact made obvious by the numbers of red-lidded bins put out to be collected every fortnight.
Yes, so much of that is genuine waste but there is also probably a fair chance that a decent amount of it is not.
Sometimes it is simply easier to dump rather than sort for a whole host of reasons, such as being the consequence of not having the time because of the everyday pressures of family life.
But every little bit helps. Taking just a few more moments can meant it’s the recycling bin that fills far more quickly, or filling the green waste bin.
It all helps because creating more waste rather than recycling, including organic matter, is becoming a more pressing need as the world grows busier and more polluted by the day.
While we clearly have a greater awareness of the importance of recycling than even a couple of decades ago, it is equally clear that some of the greatest impetus in making this approach truly effective will rest with our youngest generations.
That is because the necessity for doing so will be more second nature for them and probably because they have the greatest potential for using innovative approaches as the years progress. Such is the approach being taken at one North East school.
Barnawartha Primary has embarked on something that sounds simple in theory but perhaps not so simple in practice.
That is, the school – with its 26 students and five staff – have taken on a zero-rubbish policy. They simply don’t want to have to put out their red bin, or at least restrict that to just once a term.
The approach has produced almost an instantaneous success. From August to October, the first run with the zero-rubbish policy, the school produced just one bin’s worth of hard waste. This is an outstanding effort. But of course, the real benefits will come when those youngsters repeat the lessons learned at home.
That means the no-waste approach is taken far beyond the school gates and ultimately, improving the recycling outcomes for the wider community.
Barnawartha Primary deserves our congratulations on setting such a wonderful example to us all.