Reduce food waste at school

Introducing food waste education into schools helps build lifelong food waste avoidance and reduction behaviours for students and their families.

Resources are designed for teachers and educators to incorporate into learning activities so that students become food waste avoidance champions at home and in the community.


Love Food, Hate Waste resources for years 1 to 8

These printable lesson plans and worksheets align with the Australian Curriculum to engage students in years 1 to 8 in food waste avoidance. These materials were reproduced with the permission from the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority.

Organic Waste Smart Schools Program

Through the Organics Waste Smart Schools Program many Queensland schools are already making positive changes to the way they manage organic waste. Here are some examples of how the grants are being used:

  • Pilton State School in Toowoomba invested in separation bins and eating areas so that staff and students could filter and divert their soft plastics, organic waste and recycling. The installation of a garden composting system and a worm farm allows the school’s organic waste to be reused in their gardens.
  • Paper and food waste is turned into garden compost, mulch and organic fertilisers in the worm farms at Two Mile State School. The school uses the by-products on their vegetable patches and school garden beds. Each week, they save six boxes of paper waste and five containers of food waste going to landfill.
  • Senior students at Rockhampton’s Gracemere State School are collecting data on the school’s waste and using this to inform positive waste management behaviour changes. The school has reduced the amount of food waste it sends to landfill by using a compost area and worm farms, with the gardens flourishing from ‘worm tea’ fertiliser.

Waste and recycling audit

Conduct a waste audit to determine how much and what type of waste goes into your bins. The results can be used to identify areas for improvement and develop waste reduction strategies for different waste types. For example, if you find that most of the organic waste being generated at your school is from uneaten lunches, then signage and engagement with students and families can focus on this behaviour.

Waste attitudes and behaviours survey

Conduct a survey of attitudes and behaviours to identify barriers and opportunities for organic waste reduction activities. You can use the results to encourage change in attitudes and behaviours. For example, if you find out that students and teachers don’t think food waste is an issue, providing food waste facts on a poster close to bins could help.

Organic waste management guide for schools and early learning centres

A detailed guide for managing organic waste at schools and early learning centres covers topics such as how to prevent organic waste going to landfill, how to save money and create a compost, managing different types of organic waste (such as cardboard and textiles) and using different equipment to create a food waste processing system.

Waste Education Queensland resources

Waste Education Queensland, in partnership with Queensland Government, have created a further suite of free waste management and waste education resources for schools and early learning centres, including:

  • Caring for Country: First Nation peoples’ perspectives on managing our resources sustainably
  • In-class curriculum resources, preparation and book guide.