Student-led House Garbage Sorting to address SDG#12

Andrew Walton
Senior School Sustainability Coordinator

Referring to the United Nations Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, DCB students took a hard look at their own practices first-hand through the first-ever student-led House Garbage Sorting competition!

As a unique hands-on experience to raise awareness about waste sorting while showing empathy and appreciation to the cleaners who carry out the task daily, this friendly challenge saw Years 7 and 9 participants armed with gloves and tongs dutifully classify waste from two bags of food and office waste.

While some students decisively tackled what first looked like an immensurable task, some others required a little more guidance. However, after an hour, all Houses successfully sorted out their allocated waste. A job well done! 

Year 9 and Year 10 students were tasked with providing a video response to what was observed during the event. In short: “What happened to get to this point?” and “Who was affected by the chain of events leading up to this?” The idea was that by clearly identifying the impact of our decisions and seeing who was affected, we might be more inclined to make better decisions in the future.

Garbage sorting

House Garbage Sorting also included tasks for our Year 11 and Year 12 students – to analyse opportunities within the local community and related to the issues uncovered and where students could take action. 

Year 13 students were expected to lead by example as they were in charge of engaging and coordinating the different teams.

Such activities can form part of the work required in the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) component of the IB, but more importantly, offer students, parents, and staff ways to get involved and give back to the community. Extending this idea, students, parents and staff can look for ways to take action that will impact people on a macro scale (systemic thinking).

Garbage sorting

As educators, we hope the experience will inspire everyone to be more mindful of throwing waste in the dedicated bin and contribute to our becoming a sustainable community!