Waste Reduction Challenge

The Parkcrest Dirty Workers

Parkcrest Elementary
  • Grade 4
  • Grade 5
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

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This year the “Parkcrest Dirty Workers” have focussed on garbage reduction in our school community.  Our goal was to work at changing habits so that we could limit the amount of waste going to our city landfill.  There were 3 different things that we focussed on at our school:  recycling, composting and the use of reusable containers.


We started the year by giving presentations to all of the 16 other classes in our school to teach them how to look after their waste properly.  We taught them how to rinse out plastic containers so that they could be recycled and we set up a compost collection system to make composting their food waste easier.


In January, we started a “Litterless Lunch Campaign”.   We gave presentations to the other classes again, this time focussing on reducing waste by bringing fresh food and using reusable containers rather than individually wrapped food.  During this campaign, we visited classrooms after lunch each day and kept data on how much recycling, composting and food wrappers ended up in their garbage cans.  Throughout this campaign, we saw a great decrease in the amount of garbage that was created by our school community.


Throughout the year we have looked after both our worm composter and a big double barrel composter.  After our litter less lunch program, our barrel composter was full and in a city without a food waste program, we had to come up with an alternative.  The full composter prompted us to write letters to the city encouraging our city council to work at implementing a food waste compost program.  We know that that won’t be a quick process so we also sought out an alternative for our food waste until our composter has finished processing and we can use it again.  We found a resident who is willing to have our food waste added to their backyard compost system for the short term while our composter finished processing and we can empty it out.


The next step for the “Dirty Workers” is to use our compost for our new bee garden in the spring.  Our class will be designing and building the garden while one of our younger classes is working on the bee friendly plants to fill it.

Elementary School Winner
Sleepover at Science World