In 2018, KESAB partnered with the Department for Education (previously Department for Education and Child Development DECD) to manage a Waste Audit and Infrastructure project and to review existing waste management practices at state schools.
The primary aim of this project was to identify options to improve the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of waste management services and infrastructure for schools across SA, based on the Wipe out Waste education model.
In total, 51 audits were conducted across 49 South Australian state schools (pre, primary, secondary and R-12), which gathered baseline data regarding current resource management systems and collection costs to identify possible improvements in processes and practices.
Following the audits, 13 sites were revisited for staff meetings, whole staff presentations, and school assembly presentations.
The audits found that current waste management systems in South Australian schools are extremely variable (both between and within sites) and, although there are some exceptions, overall existing systems are ineffective for separating materials into the appropriate streams.
Based on the results of this project, it is estimated that about 30 million litres (3,767 tonnes) at a cost of $527,000 per annum (Waste Levy $140/tonne) of material is sent to landfill each year from SA state schools (including preschools). However, only about 7 million litres (630 tonnes) was identified as material which had no alternative to landfill. A report has been provided to the Department for Education.
One day’s volume of food waste at a South Australian primary school
KESAB Project Officer Ali Roush presenting audit results at an assembly presentation, with the help of students