Immanuel’s hardworking ECO Club members have opened a $50,000 recycling shed to coincide with World Environment Day 2020. The Club has more than 70 members across the Primary and Secondary Schools and students have started using the facility for their Recycle-it-Right program.

“Students use the purpose-built recycling shed to sort waste into different waste streams. A group of ECO Club members, dressed in aprons and gloves, sort recyclables as part of the College’s Recycle-it-Right program, and put them into corresponding bins,” said Principal Colin Minke.

“We have collected well over 10,000 containers since the program began in November 2018 which is over $1,000 in funds for the Club.

“The shed will open two to three times a week. We will open up to College families to drop off their recyclables as a donation, and the students will sort these as part of their weekly sort,” he said.

Immanuel is heavily committed to environmental sustainability and education. At the beginning of 2019, the College opened a custom designed and built Environmental Education Centre and employed an environmental officer whose role it is to support Immanuel’s environmental education coordinator and ECO Club members with recycling, and other environmental programs across the College.

“Environmental Officer Colleen Long maintains and develops our forest tracks to ensure all-year access for students and teachers. She is also planning an Indigenous Food Trail (bush tucker) and a Habitat Trail adjacent to the Primary School. We hope the habitat trail area will be ready and prepared for primary students to contribute to the establishment of habitat gardens starting in Term Three,” said Mr Minke.

“Another important aspect of our environmental leadership and responsibility is gathering information including flora/fauna details and developing an environmental database to include current and historical records. The information Colleen is gathering will help develop resources and practical activities that can be delivered from the College’s Environment Centre,” he said.

Before the shed was built, ECO Club members received a $5,000 grant which they invested in worm farms and recycling bins for compost, plastics and paper.

“We’re now taking part in the RedCycle soft plastic program which means the College’s soft plastics like cling wrap and muesli bar wrappers will be sorted and dropped off at local Coles and Woolworths stores. It is important to teach kids to recycle properly – which plastics go into which bin and so on. Before COVID, ECO Club members held special year level lessons, they spoke during assembly and posted weekly waste tips in Student Notices. In future, members will monitor bins during break times to help students with their recycling efforts. 

“For plastic bottles, the aim is to sort during lunch time and to get as many 10c collection units as possible. Members will have a roster and are committed to raising funds for more of their environmental initiatives,” said Mr Minke.