Kuluin Early Learning Centre
Our young generation show us how easy it is to recycle right
Kuluin Early Learning Centre (Kuluin ELC) has been working hard on their sustainable waste management.
The Centre was looking for assistance to identify strategies for waste reduction and improve levels of recycling and collection of food scraps for composting and worm farming.
All staff, along with the children and families of the Centre, were eager to build on the sustainability initiatives started at the Centre and to learn more about becoming better recyclers, composters, worm farmers, and reducers of waste.
In 2014, Kuluin Early Learning Centre decided to investigate their waste production and carried out waste audits in rooms across the Centre.
They discovered that 36 of the Centres waste stream was recyclable, while 5 was compostable; this means that the Centre had a 41 waste reduction potential through the implementation of commingled and organics recycling collection programs.
These waste audit findings were presented to the Centre in a Waste Audit Report, documenting recommendations and opportunities for waste minimization.
Compost & Worm Farming initiatives
Kuluin Early Learning Centre decided it was time to take action! An Action Plan was developed and in 2014 the Centre sprang into action rolling out a comingled recycling collection program using 10 yellow recycling boxes donated by Council to help sort and separate recyclables.
The STARS program trained the Kuluin Early Learning to recycle right, and they then busied themselves installing infrastructure and signage for comingled recycling, and teaching everyone to be great recyclers.
The Centre also rolled out an organics collection program for food scraps and other organic waste items able to be composted. A compost bin was set up with the help of Councils Waste 2 Resource Education Program and 3 organics caddys were donated to help collect and separate organics waste materials to feed the compost and worm farm on site.
The Sunshine Coasts Councils’ STARS program trained Kuluin Early Learning staff on how to look after and maintain the composting and worm farming systems.
Sunshine Coast Council Award For Recycling & Composting
Through improved use of their commingled recycling collection and organics programs, Kuluin ELC has managed to reduce waste going to landfill by 11. The Centre is recycling 29 of their total waste and diverting 13 to organics recycling.
Kuluin Early Learning Centre has also taken further waste reduction steps by implementing initiatives such as regular Nude Food Lunch Days at the Centre. Parents and children were asked to consider packing lunches so that no waste was bought into the Centre.
The Centre has switched most of its communication with families and other administration to electronic formats to reduce paper use.
The Centre also fosters other waste reduction initiatives with families by promoting National Recycling Week through events such as Swap Parties, where children bring unwanted books to swap with other children rather than sending them to landfill.