Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The Landfill Bin Survey

We start the Dustbin Diet with a Landfill bin survey and it has been no surprise to find that over 80% of students thought they filled their landfill bin every fortnight.  We clearly have work to do!

Students also reported that although there were recycling bins around the site they felt that most students were more likely to put recyclable rubbish into the nearest landfill bin.  As one of our workshops was held in the canteen, we talked particularly about the signs in the canteen area where lots of the recyclable waste was generated.  All the signs encouraged students to 'Bin It'.  There was no mention of the recycling bins and what should and shouldn't go into landfill bins.  Students thought that better posters encouraging recycling and recycling bins alongside landfill bins would encourage more students to recycle and would mean less waste for the school and therefore lower waste costs.

Later this year, students will present their book to the rest of their year group and will talk about their suggestions for reducing waste in school and at home.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Year 9 Geography Students go on a Dustbin Diet

In June 2013, 60 students from the Henry Box School in Witney took part in the Dustbin Diet as part of their geography curriculum.

In year 9 students are expected to gain an "understanding that the physical and human dimensions of the environment are interrelated and together influence environmental change". They also explore "sustainable development and its impact on environmental interaction and climate change."

The students took part in activities and discussions to further their understanding of the impact of waste on the environment, why we waste, and how we can reduce waste.

We looked at the differences between dealing with food waste by composting or anaerobic digestion compared to allowing waste to go to landfill.  We also looked at the waste hierarchy and where different ways of dealing with waste fitted into it.

An important part of the Dustbin Diet is looking at 'change management'.  Thanks to some game cooperation of the teachers and teaching assistants, we looked at what happened when change is not managed in suitably sized chunks that people can cope with.  By contrast, applying a few easy principles of change management, students were also able to see and feel what that was like too.  Armed with this experience, the students were able to understand how best to bring about changes to the waste management within the school.

The focus of the course then moved to producing their own book of 101 Ways to Live Cleaner and Greener for Free.

The book is available to buy through the school.

The Dustbin Diet is a fun and informative way of providing learning activities and information that meet the geography curriculum aims for key stage 3.

"Geographical enquiry encourages questioning, investigation and critical thinking about issues affecting the world and people’s lives, now and in the future."

"Geography inspires pupils to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and their responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet."

Source for curriculum information: