Community support boosts school recycling program

Year 4 students Billie-Violet Mahon, Tilly Donegan, Amelia Otto and
Poppy Passanisi with just a few of the community donated items currently reused, recycled or repurposed in the MRPS Kitchen Garden Program. Photos: Supplied
Year 4 students Billie-Violet Mahon, Tilly Donegan, Amelia Otto and Poppy Passanisi with just a few of the community donated items currently reused, recycled or repurposed in the MRPS Kitchen Garden Program. Photos: Supplied

Hundreds of items donated by the local community have been received by the Margaret River Primary School Kitchen Garden Program after item requests were posted on local social media sites.

“We are overwhelmed with the continuing support this community shows our Kitchen Garden program,” said Garden Specialist Terri Sharpe.

“This kind of support enriches the learning experience of our students in so many ways,” Ms Sharpe said. 

Items received by the Kitchen Garden program include used glass jars, avocado seeds, used plastic fruit punnets, and most recently used plastic seedling punnets.

All items are reused, recycled or repurposed (RRR) by students in the program – giving them hands-on experience into the process.

“This program is wonderful as students don’t only place recyclable items into yellow recycle bins themselves – which is an important act in itself and is advocated across the entire school- but are also able to reuse and repurpose community donated items into useful products.”

Examples include avocado seeds germinating into indoor plants and grafting root stock, fruit punnets repurposed into mini-green houses, plastic seedling punnets and pots being reused by the garden program for their own plant propagation, and toilet paper rolls and used lemon rinds being reused as seed growing vessels.

Other RRR initiatives in the program include collection of kitchen waste for chook food and composting, collection of year four food waste to feed the worm farm, a donated bath repurposed into a fish pond, donated pots that were cracked and heading for landfill fixed by students and repurposed into frog habitats, and all green waste generated by the garden going back into composting piles and eventually redistributed back into the garden as rich, organic soil. 

Students in the program are also involved in the entire RRR process – they examine tasks that need to be completed in the kitchen and garden and then look at ways RRR can be involved in completing them.

According to Ms Sharpe, the importance of the role students play in the RRR process can not be underestimated.

“These children literally hold the future of this planet in their hands”, she said.

“The more they are involved in hands-on decisions and actions regarding all aspects of reusing, recycling and repurposing, the greater the likelihood that they will continue these actions into the future, long after their time at MRPS is over.”

If you would like to know more about the RRR projects students are working on in the Kitchen Garden Program, visit their Facebook page MRPS Kitchen Garden.