Byron Bay High School logo

Byron Bay High School

Byron Bay High School

The Future is Ours

Telephone02 6685 8188

Reducing waste at Byron Bay High School

We are committed to reducing waste at school

Byron Bay High School are committed to reducing waste and consumption at school! What does this mean?

In 2020, students of Byron Bay High School lead the change to reduce consumption in response to their concern for the environment. Bordering the Arakwal National Park, it is crucial that we minimise our impact on the environment.

  • Students are encouraged to bring waste free lunches and snacks that are in reusable containers, therefore avoiding single use plastics.
  • Composting takes place onsite, with dedicated organic waste collection in 'green bins' around the school.
  • The school collects plastic bottles and drink containers that can be recycled at the 'Return & Earn' facilities in our shire.
  • Anything that students bring onto the site, that cannot be recycled or composted, must return home with them, much like a national park.

We look forward to new students being able to maintain their environmental practices from Primary School and are always keen to further develop our environmental initiatives with involvement from new students.



Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are we doing this?

We have listened to the concerns of the students who are telling us about what they are worried about in the future. Our recent survey told us that an overwhelming majority would support Byron High to implement waste free initiatives. We’ve also looked at the science behind climate change and believe that this program will help to reduce our carbon emissions.

2. Won’t kids just throw the rubbish on the ground?

Yes, we are worried about this, but it allows a conversation to be had between staff and students and students and students about who is responsible for the rubbish that we consume and create. Students will be asked to take home any rubbish that they bring to school, as will staff.

3. What is the difference between disposing of rubbish at school and home?

At school a lot of our rubbish can’t be recycled, whereas at home you have recycling bins. Also we are trying to raise awareness about why we need to avoid single use packaging/plastic and lso about how much waste we actually produce. Hopefully this initiative will encourage people to look for alternatives.

4. What is the point of doing this, it's such a small thing.

At Byron High we are always trying to look at ways to reduce our carbon footprint and support our students futures.

5. Can this be done?

It will require a change in practice and lots of new conversations, but this is already done in a lot of Primary schools in our area. Most families in our region also compost and recycle already so this should be second nature for our students. Our students are also highly motivated to help reduce the impacts of climate change.

6. What can we put in the compost bins?

All different types of food scraps, including citrus and meat as well as any paper and biodegradable packaging. Leaves and garden waste can also be put in the new compost cones.

7. What will we do with our rubbish that we have to take home?

You will dispose of your rubbish at home just like you always do. Soft plastic can be taken to Woolies, glass and PET bottles can be recycled, alfoil will be put in the bin.

8. What about packaging that we buy from the canteen?

The canteen is trying to reduce their use of single use plastics. But, where they haven’t done so yet, students will need to take this home and recycle or dispose of this in your rubbish bins.

9. Will the school help support us at home?

Yes the school will take the bins away gradually. We will also be creating a newsletter with waste free lunch box ideas, recipes for food that is normally packaged and waste free packaging ideas.

10. Why now?

The school has been successful in getting a Sustainable Schools Grant  and one of the approaches we are taking is reducing the waste  generated at our school. We are conscious of how lucky we are at Byron  because we learn on Arakwal land, right next door to the Arakwal  National Park and the ocean.

11. But...but...what about the rubbish?

Yes, this may be an issue but like any project that our students will  encounter in the real world, they will need to think of solutions to any  problems they encounter. Hopefully this project will help them become  solutions based thinkers and also make them proud of their school.