ResourceSmart Schools Waste Module

Last updated: 14 March 2023

In Victorian schools, the majority of waste is made up of food, paper and packaging, as well as glass, plastic and aluminium.

The Waste Module helps schools minimise waste sent to landfill through the operational practices of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’, and save on bills. In addition to saving money, there are many social and environmental advantages to reducing waste consumption, such as minimising our impact on the environment.

Building waste reduction into every aspect of school life not only benefits our environment, it also helps schools reduce costs and improves quality of life for the community. This is increasingly important for the reputation of schools as students, teachers and parents become aware of climate change and other environmental issues facing our communities.

It involves three key areas:

  1. Workplace/operational

    Assess how waste is managed in school by using audits and litter assessments. Create a waste and litter reduction plan, learn to manage litter in school grounds and yard (e.g. food and garden waste) and improve management of recyclables.

  2. Learning and teaching

    Explore curriculum activities that engage students in learning to manage waste and resources more effectively.

  3. Whole school community engagement

    Encourage the whole school to work on waste by engaging teachers, students, parents and the wider community.

If signing up and committing to the ResourceSmart Schools program it is recommended to start and complete the Core Module first then proceed with other modules in any order or the same time. If not signing up to the program, schools can utilise the Waste resources to become more sustainable.

Module completion

Complete 7 compulsory actions and a minimum of 27 of the 39 recommended actions to meet certification requirements.

ResourceSmart Schools Waste Module resources

ResourceSmart Waste Module checklist

18 July 2022 – A list of all actions to help each school through the ResourceSmart Schools program Waste Module.

Quick Guide Waste Module

14 March 2023 – This guide helps a school to work through the Waste Module.

ResourceSmart Waste Module Annual Action Plan

1 August 2022 – Use this yearly action plan template to reflect the activities your school would like to undertake to reduce waste and litter.

ResourceSmart Waste audit tools

17 March 2021 – Tools for schools to undertake their annual waste and litter audits.

Green Events Policy Template

14 March 2023 – This policy template helps schools articulate their approach to holding sustainable and environmentally friendly events.

Curriculum links: Level F–6

18 July 2019 – Helping schools to build sustainability into their curriculum in all subject areas from foundation to grade six.

Additional Waste resources

  • How to reduce, reuse and recycle waste in schools Cool Australia creates units of work and learning activities that are year level specific, from Early Learning to Year 12. All are linked to Australian Curriculum standards and the Early Years Learning Framework outcomes. They offer some great Waste resources for teachers and students.
  • Waste and Resource Recovery Groups – Victoria's metropolitan and regional waste and resource recovery groups plan the management of municipal solid waste in Victoria. There are 13 regions in Victoria and each encompass one or more councils. Waste management groups also play an essential role in educating the community about waste minimisation and resource recovery. Regional education officers provide advice, education resources and assistance with waste reduction programs and can provide guidance to work through the ResourceSmart Schools Waste Module.

Want to know more? Get in touch with:

ResourceSmart Schools Education Team
Sustainability Victoria
1300 363 744