KAREN CANNARD: College prepares to slim its bins

A personal view
A personal view
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This week, I’d like to give a huge shout-out to the staff and students at Thurston Community College, who are about to embark on several waste reduction projects as part of the Employability Plus qualification in Environmental Awareness.

Over the next few months, 10 students, some following vocational courses will be getting to grips with the principles of The Rubbish Diet, adapted to fit the school curriculum, discovering how to reduce waste both at school and at home and conducting a specific survey into food waste at the college.

I’m really looking forward to their discoveries and finding out the results of their learning.

What I love particularly about integrating the topic of waste reduction into the educational curriculum is that it offers a perfect platform for developing assessment and problem-solving skills. Furthermore, it’s not just a theoretical exercise. Student activities like this can bring immediate practical value to a student’s learning as well as the school and its community.

At its very basic, waste management is just like any other business process that once properly audited can lead to opportunities to become more efficient and save money.

The topic also offers other opportunities to push further, researching the environmental impacts of waste and writing marketing messages that can help influence change – all key skills required by many organisations. In fact, there is a whole profession open to people who are skilled in carrying out waste audits and who can inspire others to change their behaviour.

And then there are those who become fascinated by the science. A visit to the MRF at Great Blakenham easily demonstrates how magnets, blasts of air and NIR technology sort the mixed contents of our blue bins into separate materials for recycling.

I am sure the students are going to have great fun with this project and I can’t wait to hear how they get on. It’s Slim your Bin time at Thurston Community College. Good luck everyone and watch this space!