Gould Group



About Gould Group
Award winning environmental education pioneers since 1909.

Waste Wise Schools

Program Summary of Results (March 2006)


  • 40% of Victorian schools participate in Waste Wise Schools.
  • 1502 teachers have been trained in free workshops
  • A  survey in 2003 showed that 80%  of schools who joined the Program in 1998 retained the program at their school

Environmental Outcomes

  • Data collected in 2003 indicated that schools diverted an estimated 850 tonnes of waste from landfill. With increased participation, diversion of waste to landfill has grown by an estimated 25%.
  • Individual schools have reduced waste going to landfill by up to 98%.
  • In 2005 all surveyed schools were recycling paper, 67% recycle bottles and cans and 63% compost.
  • Most teachers (90%) report that reuse practices - such as reusing paper as jotting pads - were occurring in their schools.
  • 87% of schools practice waste reduction practices
  • 47.4% of schools have a planning committee to consider waste issues and over 60% have or are considering developing a waste policy. These development have occurred since teachers attended our training workshop
  • 40 % of schools have purchasing practices to reduce waste and a further 30% are considering introducing green purchasing policies.

Economic Outcomes

  • By diverting waste to landfill, and through reuse and recycling practices, many Waste Wise Schools have saved between $300-$6,500 per year.
  • Entrepreneurial Waste Wise Schools earn money by selling cans and paper to local can and paper recyclers, producing recycled paper fire bricks. Altona North Primary Schools earns $8,000 annually selling bottled worm fertiliser.

Educational Outcomes

  • 80% of surveyed schools said that the program helped students develop a positive attitude to learning, supported students working with others, provides problem solving activities and innovative and creative opportunities.
  • The Waste Wise Schools' Program has given students an action-based, real-life program where the results of the students' efforts are clearly visible. Student learning becomes much more purposeful.
  • The program has provided opportunities for hands-on maths and science activities and provided opportunities for improving literacy and presentation skills.

Social Outcomes

  • Case Studies of Waste Wise Schools highlight the immense social value of the Waste Wise Schools Program. Many schools report that the Program boosts student's self-esteem by providing leadership roles for children of all ages and all abilities.
  • Some schools report that the Program has provided a focus for students with behavioural and learning difficulties. Teachers help these students take responsibility for specific activities such as planning and running the paper shredding or worm farms.

Other significant results/outcomes

  • Flow-on effect to wider communities:  Surveys of parents show that the Waste Wise Schools Program is changing the behaviour and thinking of families towards waste and litter reduction and recycling practices. Typically, 50-60% of parents are influenced by the Program
  • Licensing/transferability of the program
    Three Australian States have licensed the Waste Wise Schools Program and Gould League has provided all training. 


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Gould League, PO Box 1117, Moorabbin VIC 3189
Ph: +61 3 9532 0909 Fax: +61 3 9532 2860
Email: info@gould.org.au Web: www.gould.org.au