Reducing waste is important to sites, our communities and the environment. KESAB environmental solutions and the Wipe out Waste program are the state’s leading waste educators working with education sites to reduce waste to landfill. NRM Education works in partnership with them to support and embed these waste reduction practices.

Linking to the Australian Curriculum


Investigating waste

This section demonstrates processes that involve students with identifying, understanding and assessing the management of resources in their school environment, encouraging them to plan and take action.

1. Learn about the relationship between waste and climate change

Learn about resources and resource consumption, recycling and reducing waste as processes that relate to climate change.

  • Resource consumption in our society.
  • What is waste?
  • How does nature deal with waste?
  • How do we currently manage waste in South Australia?
  • How can we manage waste more effectively in South Australia?
  • How does waste and resource use relate to climate change?

2. Explore and learn about waste in your school and local community

Explore and understand resource use leading to waste generation and recycling processes (such as composting or 10c container collection). How is waste and recycling managed in your local area?

  • Explore waste generation at school
  • Explore recycling at school
  • Explore waste management and recycling in your community (eg. visit your local landfill or recycling centre)

3. Use environmental assessment tools to document how waste is created and managed at your school

A waste audit will identify the amount of waste generated at your site. Students can use the data to investigate issues, analyse waste patterns and plan for more sustainable living in the school and local community.

4. Plan next steps using the Site Environment Management Plan (SEMP)

  • Use the SEMP to document auditing results and plan priority actions and next steps
  • Read case studies for waste reduction ideas and learning experiences
  • Review your school waste contracts to understand the amount of waste produced and the associated management costs. Compare this to the amount of recycling generated and the costs for managing recyclables.

5. Take action

Use your SEMP action plan to implement strategies for minimising waste to landfill and maximising the recycling of resources. Develop partnerships to get the whole site community on board.

6. Record, reflect and celebrate

Share your milestones as you achieve targets that demonstrate more sustainable resource management in your school.

  • Get together and think about the actions you have taken to minimise waste
  • How can you maintain these systems and actions?
  • What can you do in the future?
  • Communicate and celebrate your achievements.



Information packs


Fact sheets


Case studies

Be inspired by how other early learning sites and schools are taking action on waste.

Related links