As with any organisation, schools produce a lot of waste. This is perfectly normal, as schools generally house hundreds, if not thousands, of people all at once. A school’s priorities should be twofold: reduce waste produced, while proactively implementing a recycling culture.
Easier said than done, sure, but by taking multiple small steps, many schools up and down the country are improving their waste management methods and reducing the amount of their rubbish that finds its way to landfill.
At ETM Recycling, we help schools across Bristol and Bath handle their waste management. By ensuring that only a tiny percentage ends up in landfill, we can help your school reduce its carbon footprint while teaching your pupils valuable lessons about recycling.
How does School Waste Differ from Other Organisations’?
Generally speaking, schools produce an unusually broad spectrum of waste. From food waste to paper waste, medical to wood waste – schools often do it all. This can pose a uniquely difficult challenge when looking to manage it all in a convenient, cost-effective way. It’s understandable that lots of schools end up disposing of their waste en masse, as it’s the easiest solution. However, this doesn’t need to be the case – we’ve compiled our top 8 tips to help you reduce and manage your waste effectively.
Top 8 Tips to Reduce Waste at Your School
By incorporating some, or all, of these steps, you can drastically improve your school’s day-to-day waste management.
Start a Composting Programme
Your canteen inevitably produces a veritable mound of food waste every week. Rather than throwing this waste away, we recommend starting a composting programme. We’ve seen many schools build a small garden where they compost their own waste and teach children valuable gardening skills along the way!
Collect & Bale Materials
Schools can easily install a baler that can compact aluminium, plastics, cardboard & paper. Bales of waste are significantly easier to transport and dispose of and reduce your reliance on large bins or skips.
Donate Leftover Supplies & Equipment
At the end of the school year, you might find yourself with an overwhelming amount of excess supplies and equipment that needs to be cleared out ready for September. Rather than throwing these supplies away, consider donating them to families/local charities so that they don’t go to waste.
Put Together a Waste Management Team
Oftentimes, waste management at schools isn’t anyone’s specific role. Build a team to take on responsibility for waste management across the school. This team can devise plans to reduce waste, promote recycling and work with children and families to produce less rubbish.
Educate Staff & Students
It’s a team effort at the end of the day. Take this opportunity to teach your children about the importance of waste management and recycling. Promote low-waste lunches and encourage children to reuse equipment as much as possible.
Encourage Paperless Processes
It’s easy to become reliant on the printer, but paper waste accounts for a large percentage of all school waste. Send emails rather than notes, assign online homework versus sheets, and make sure to use both sides of paper in books! It all adds up to a lot of paper waste over the year.
Start a Reusable Bottle Scheme
Water fountains are commonplace in schools, so we recommend starting a scheme to encourage children to bring their own reusable bottles from home. It could be a good opportunity to provide bottles that children can use, and will drastically reduce the amount of single use plastic waste that your school produces.
Contact a Local Waste Management Supplier
By partnering with a local waste management specialist, you’ll have the support, advice and expertise that you need to solve any waste issues that you’ll inevitably have to deal with. It’s hard enough managing all the tricky situations that come with running a school, so it’s worth having experts in your corner, ready to help you at any time.
Benefits of Proper Waste Management Procedures in Schools
While there are some obvious benefits to improving waste management at school such as a reduced carbon footprint, there are a few perhaps less obvious ones:
- Create genuinely impactful teaching opportunities with your students, providing lessons that they’ll carry with them for life.
- Improve your relationship with your community through donation schemes.
- Actively engage your staff in projects slightly outside of their normal remit.
- Rest easy knowing that you’ve done everything in your power to correctly dispose of your waste.
Waste Management Services with ETM Recycling
Improving your school’s waste management processes can be a big, often overwhelming, task. Our team at ETM Recycling understand the difficulties that can come with change. We’ve got years of experience working with schools across Bristol and Bath to upgrade their waste management.
We’re here to talk through your unique situation. Get in touch with our friendly specialists today to find out how we can help you to improve waste management at your school.