Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

19 NOV 2021

Recycling and container returns help Marrickville students think like scientists

At Marrickville Public School sustainability is part of everyday life. There are extensive school gardens with herbs, vegetables, native plants and bush food. To help fund the garden and other activities focused on the environment the school’s Parents and Citizens Association (P&C) utilises a range of fundraising initiatives including Return and Earn.

Science teacher Grace Ludemann teaches students from Kindergarten to Grade 6 about the natural world. “Everything we do is about the fundamentals of science,” she says, with the children learning how to think and write like a scientist. “The lessons tie in to global warming, but how this is something they can control. The understanding that they can make a difference to the environment will keep them fuelled for the more complex tasks they will face in the future,” she explains.

The students also look after meal worms to observe their lifecycle and changes and use food waste for compost for the school gardens that are supported by container refunds via Return and Earn.

Aine Healy, who has a son in Grade 3, says the P&C successfully applied to be featured on local Return and Earn reverse vending machines (RVM) in August last year.

“We encouraged school families and the wider community to take their recycling to the RVMs,” says Aine. “We raised around $500 to $600 or more this way. We got fertiliser and mulch for the veggie patch, and some additional native plants,” she added.

It’s clear that the young students take a lot of pride in the produce they grow in the school garden. “My son tells me the tomatoes here taste so much better than tomatoes at home,” says Aine.


Find out more about how your school can be involved with Return and Earn.

Return and Earn is a partnership between the NSW Government, scheme coordinator Exchange for Change and network operator TOMRA Cleanaway.