KESAB's Wipe Out Waste (WOW) work in South Australian schools takes community approach

KESAB conducts Wipe Out Waste (WOW) in South Australian schools, from pre school to Year 12.

Wipe Out Waste (WOW) is a South Australian state-wide program delivered by KESAB (Keep South Australia Beautiful) to assist all schools, from pre-school to year 12, to supports learning about and reducing waste in a whole-of- school community approach. 

With the state government department for education, KESAB staff audit and assess up to 60 metro and outer metro department schools to gather data on waste management practices. It identifies opportunities to further reduce school waste going to landfill. Performances by WOW mascot, Wally the Wipe Out Waste Wizard, are another way of getting the message across.

KESAB also conducts Wipe Out Waste awards for schools with the biggest cut in waste going to landfill. The 2016 primary school winner was St Raphael’s in Parkside who achieved a 80% fall.

 After a students’ excursion to Wingfield Waste and Recycling Centre and a waste audit by KESAB, St Raphael’s School introduced initiatives such as removing rubbish bins from around the school. This challenged students, parents and staff to make more informed decisions on managing their waste. Labelled recycling stations, where students recycled everything from drinking straws, used tissues, soft plastics and drink deposit containers, were a key driver.

The school reduced its weekly waste output from 10 council rubbish bins to two. Other initiatives were organics composting used on the school vegetable gardens and students making sandwich wraps using fabric and wax to eliminate the need for cling wrap. The canteen incorporated more recyclable containers for food service. The school has also introduced a gardening club and student walking group.

Students from Immanuel Primary School in Adelaide also achieved a goal to reduce the entire school’s waste to one wheelie bin per week. Students also determined to remove waste bins from their campus altogether in seven years. 

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