Waste educators a hit with kids at National Science Week

​​​​DPIPWE has been busy at this year's National Science Week. Maree Bakker and Rachel James (both from EPA Tasmania) partnered with colleagues from the Department of Education to host a display titled “Fabulous Fungi, Wonderful Worms and Rotting Rubbish" at the Festival of Bright Ideas in Hobart's Princes Wharf on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 August.

“It was great to see so many young people excited about science and learning new things" Rachel said.

EPA Tasmania's Rachel James with a model farm and children listening

EPA Tasmania's Rachel James talking to kids at National Science Week

​​​​​​​Maree's favourite part of participating in National Science Week is “having the ability to interact with students and the general public."

Friday was “Schools' Day", where Rachel and Maree had the opportunity to show students from both primary and secondary schools about what happens to waste if we do not reduce, reuse and recycle.

Using a model of a landfill, Rachel and Maree discussed how old landfills used to operate with leachate and methane escaping and polluting surrounding land, groundwater and waterways. These days landfilling processes are getting better, however Maree and Rachel stressed that there are still many opportunities to reduce waste, reuse where we can and recycle where possible. In particular most plastics, aluminium, paper, clothing, batteries, light globes, steel, paper and cardboard can be recycled.

Rachel said, “It was great to see that lots of students had been exposed to the concept of reducing waste both at home and at school and were familiar with several reusable items."

Maree shared a funny moment from her weekend at National Science week, “When I asked a child what she thought when she saw my badge, which indicated that I was a 'waste educator', she thought I educated waste. If only!"

Maree spent Saturday talking to the general public about the 3Rs (reducing, reusing and recycling) and the upcoming improvements in waste management, including new legislation, the statewide landfill levy, the container refund scheme, and an increased focus on litter management.

The latest primary school teaching resources on the topic of waste were a hit with Maree sharing the resource with many interested people, the resources can be found on our Waste Education page.

Published on: 2/09/2021