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Waste module

In Victorian schools, the majority of waste is made up of food, paper and packaging, as well as glass, plastic, and aluminium

Three students wheeling yellow recycling bins

The Waste Module helps schools minimise waste sent to landfill through the operational practices of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, and save on bills. In addition to saving money, there are many social and environmental advantages to reducing waste consumption, such as minimising our impact on the environment.

Building waste reduction into every aspect of school life not only benefits our environment, it also helps schools reduce costs and improves quality of life for the community. This is increasingly important for the reputation of schools as students, teachers and parents become aware of climate change and other environmental issues facing our communities.

It involves three key areas:

  1. Workplace/operational

    Assess how waste is managed in school by using audits and litter assessments. Create a waste and litter reduction plan, learn to manage litter in school grounds and yard (e.g. food and garden waste) and improve management of recyclables.
  2. Learning and teaching

    Explore curriculum activities that engage students in learning to manage waste and resources more effectively.
  3. Whole school community engagement

    Encourage the whole school to work on waste by engaging teachers, students, parents and the wider community.

If signing up and committing to the ResourceSmart Schools program it is recommended to start and complete the Core Module first then proceed with other Modules in any order or the same time. If not signing up to the program, schools can utilise the Waste resources to become more sustainable.


Module completion

The Waste module has 63 actions. To complete the module, schools need to complete a minimum of 47 actions.


ResourceSmart Schools Waste module resources

ResourceSmart icon - Waste

ResourceSmart Waste module checklist

A list of all actions to help each school through the ResourceSmart Schools program Waste module

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ResourceSmart Waste module action toolkit

A practical 'how to' guide to enable completion of help you to plan and complete actions required for the Waste Module.

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Curriculum links

The Curriculum links document helps Primary schools to build sustainability into their curriculum in all subject areas from foundation to grade six.

Additional Waste resources

How to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in schools

Cool Australia creates units of work and learning activities that are year level specific, from Early Learning to Year 12.

All are linked to Australian Curriculum standards and the Early Years Learning Framework outcomes.

They offer some great Waste resources for teachers and students.

Cool Australia Waste resources
Waste and Resource Recovery Groups

Victoria's metropolitan and regional waste and resource recovery groups plan the management of municipal solid waste in Victoria.

There are 13 regions in Victoria and each encompass one or more councils. Waste management groups also play an essential role in educating the community about waste minimisation and resource recovery.

Regional education officers provide advice, education resources and assistance with waste reduction programs and can provide guidance to work through the ResourceSmart Schools Waste Module.

View the Waste and Resource Recovery Groups

Want to know more? Get in touch with:

ResourceSmart Schools Education Team

Sustainability Victoria

1300 363 744

schools@sustainability.vic.gov.au