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A school in Australia has banned trash cans on its premises to encourage students and staff to reduce waste.
In Melbourne Girls’ College (MGC), trash cans have been removed from classrooms and offices. They have been replaced with containers for paper, recyclable materials, and leftover food for compost. However, there will be sanitary waste containers in the school’s restrooms. According to MGC Principal Karen Money, the school plans to reuse, recycle, or turn all the waste it produces into fertilizer by the end of 2020.
Money mentioned that the school’s sustainability team, which is composed of parents, staff, students, and community members, is responsible for creating the initiative. She believes that MGC is the first among high schools in Australia to try removing trash cans on campus. The principal hopes that the act will encourage parents to use more sustainable packaging for their children’s school lunches. The school plans to give tokens to students who will bring reusable food containers, which can be redeemed for prizes and rewards.
In addition to the goal of reducing waste on campus, the initiative also aims to cut the school’s waste disposal costs. In 2018, MGC spent almost $13,000 just for taking out trash from its premises.
The school’s plan garnered various reactions. Some people commented that the plan to remove campus trash cans will not really make a difference in the amount of trash because students will simply bring their trash home. However, most parents are supportive of the new initiative, with one even saying that she is proud that the school has a strong environmental policy.