Monday, July 22, 2024

Kids dig in for Bega waste tour


Students from Tathra and Pambula Public Schools and Bega High recently had the opportunity to tour Bega Valley Shire Council’s Central Waste Facility, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the complexity and scale of the work required to manage the shire’s unrecyclable waste.

The tours, run in partnership with the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, invited students to stand inside a partially filled landfill cell.

“The students were blown away by the scale of it and it gave them a real idea of how much waste we throw away as a society,” said Council’s Waste Strategy Coordinator, Tim Cook.

“Our staff helped the students to understand that landfill sites are far more than just a hole in the ground.

“In our ongoing Let’s Get it Sorted program run in partnership with the Bournda Environmental Education Centre, we visit local schools and talk about alternatives to throwing things in the landfill bin.

“A guided tour of our landfill site helps to complete the picture by showing that throwing things in the red bin doesn’t make them go away.”

Mr Cook said the students were also able to see and learn about Council’s responsibility as a land and waste manager at the 200-hectare site.

“Ideas of ongoing management were discussed as the students were able to see how a filled and capped landfill cell requires constant monitoring for methane and flammable gas build-up and leachate diversion.

“By standing in one vast, partially filled cell, they learned how Council currently monitors one active landfill cell and 26 filled landfill sites in the Bega Valley. It was a powerful way to show just how big a problem landfill waste is.”

With positive feedback from teachers and students and more school visits planned, Mr Cook said the value of waste education is clear to see.

“These students are the future ambassadors of responsible waste management, who take their messages from the classroom to friends, family and the community.”

“We want to give everyone the chance to learn more about what happens to their waste after it’s picked up and we’ll be asking soon if there’s enough interest in a community open day,” he said.

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