Lesson 2: Food scraps systems at school


To research and select an appropriate food scraps collection method for your class/school to reduce the amount of food going to landfill.

Learning Areas

Geography, Science, Technologies, English


Around 36 percent (by weight) and 11 percent (by volume) of materials in school waste bins are food scraps. Food scraps in the waste bin are sent to landfill, which comes at a high cost to the environment. There are a number of methods that can be used to keep food scraps out of landfill. The best system for your school will depend on a number of factors, including the size of the school, number of students, space, money and commitment by staff and students.

Lesson steps

  1. Brainstorm/identify the different ways in which food scraps could be diverted from landfill. These could include composting, worm farms, kerbside organics collection, and commercial food scrap collection. Record responses on the board.
  2. Discuss the pros and cons for each method (e.g. composting can be done at school, but someone would need to monitor it to make sure that only certain food scraps are being composted).
  3. Based on your list, select a method that you believe could work in your school or classroom and complete the ‘My school food scraps system’ activity sheet.
  4. If plausible, act on your own recommendations and try to set up a food collection system (KESAB environmental solutions Waste Education staff can help you with this process – phone 8234 7255).
  5. As an extension, get the students to produce a piece which can explain the chosen waste disposal process to new students/other classes in the school/wider community. Students may choose to create an information poster, visual presentation, skit/performance for other classes, or newsletter article. Alternatively, students can present their ideas at a class meeting, to other staff, or the key student or parent body in the school (SRC or P&F). This can be done via an oral and visual presentation as a class project, where groups complete different components of the presentation.