School Programs

Council offers programs and resources to support waste education in preschool, primary and secondary schools. 

Keen for a waste wise chat? Contact Council's Waste Education Officer for more details on our schools programs and how we can tailor a program for your school on 6686 1287.

Let's Get it Sorted Schools Challenge 2024

Become a waste wise school and join Council's free and engaging schools challenge reducing waste to landfill and improving resource recovery across your school. The Challenge can be customised to build on your school's existing waste wise endeavours in fun and useful ways.

Participating schools will be supported to make informed and achievable sustainable changes that suit their school community and provided with resources, visits and local community promotion across the 2024 school year. They will also be encouraged to link in with their local community and can benefit from up to $500 funding to support approved resource recovery actions.

The Challenge is open to both primary and secondary schools. Here's what to expect:

  1. Decide who will champion the project. A team provides momentum and camaraderie and can be a dedicated sustainability or waste-wise group; members of the student representative council or teacher group; an enthusiastic class, or any other set up that suits your school best. 
  2. School Waste Audit and Report. Council’s Waste Education Officer will come to your school and conduct a waste audit on the school’s behalf, or work with a group of 5-30 students to conduct a waste audit of your school bins (must be from year 4 up). Length of session will depend on size of school. Following the audit, the school will be provided with an audit report with recommendations.
  3. Create Action Plan. An achievable action plan will be created with support from Council's Waste Education Officer. Ideas to involve your school community include: visit from North East Waste’s Wipe Out Waste team with a fun and engaging waste-wise performance or activity (paid for on behalf of council); poster, video and/or sticker competition relevant to your school’s key waste wise focus; a community car boot sale (supporting reuse), create or participate in a ‘waste to art’ competition; peer support - upper primary recycling monitors helping lower primary with what goes where; creative writing workshops; nude food/waste wise lunches; re-evaluate your canteen practices.
  4. Involve your School. Communicate and implement your action plan.
  5. Evaluate your plan and celebrate what your school has achieved. Book in Council’s waste educator to revisit your school and undertake a second simple waste audit to showcase the results of your actions. Share and celebrate your efforts. Participating schools that make tangible positive change will be provided with a certificate at assembly and a plastic free party kit! Promote your achievements with the community. Council can help with this.


To promote your efforts and evaluate the effectiveness of the challenge, students and teachers will be asked to complete a short survey and to provide, where possible, photographs/other documentation for Council to create case studies/articles, with the view for them to be promoted to the community.

Important Dates

Term 1 Week 4

Term 1
  • Create a Waste Wise school team
  • Undertake school waste audit
Terms 1 and 2
  • Wipe Out Waste visit
  • Create action plan and commence implementation
Term 2/3
  • Implement action plan and review where required
  • Poster/sticker competition
Term 3/4
  • Implement action plan and review where required
  • Second audit/tour
Term 4
  • Celebrate and promote school waste wise achievements
  • Certificates presented to participating schools

Exact timeframe and activities tailored to your school's schedule.

 Complete the Expression of Interest 

Expressions of Interest close: Friday 23 February 2024. Limited number of places available.

For further information contact the Resource Recovery team on 6686 1287 or

Early Childhood Centres

The Nothing Goes to Waste Early Childhood Waste Education Program is run by North East Waste on council’s behalf. The program aims to engage, educate and support staff, children and their families in waste avoidance and resource recovery practices.

To find out more about the program, book a visit and download relevant learning resources, head to ‘schools programs’ on the North East Waste website.

Primary Schools

Council’s Waste Education Officer can visit primary students to:

  • Conduct waste wise talks, supplemented by our waste wise cut-out activity. Download our waste wise cut out activity: Waste Wise Cut Out Activity Sheet (for upper primary students) or Waste Wise Cut Out Activity Sheet (for lower primary students)
  • Understand their recycling and/or organics bins
  • Work with a class or group (such as an environment group) to do a school waste audit
  • Work with the school to create a waste reduction action plan (WRAP)
  • Support creative and tangible actions to reduce waste
  • Reduce Single Use campaigns
  • Provide advice on waste wise school grants
  • Help promote their efforts to the wider community

North East Waste school programs

North East Waste provide fun and engaging school programs on behalf of council about the importance of waste management and sustainability. Programs include:

Love Your Lunch

Tackles the challenges of reducing lunchbox and packaging waste, healthy eating, reducing school waste and also food waste reduction amongst families. The program includes bin audits (no student involvement), and student workshops in lunch making and beeswax wrapper making.

Download the NE Waste EOI for the Love Your Lunch schools program here.

 Recycle Relays

Active participatory relay race that teaches students how to correctly sort common recycling, compost and landfill items into the right bins.

Wipe Out Waste

The Wipe out Waste ‘WOW’ Van is a mobile educational trailer which promotes sustainable waste practices to schools through interactive and fun waste information sessions held by a professional performer. Students will learn how they can actively help their local environment by adopting simple waste-less practices, such as smart-shopping, reducing, reusing, composting and recycling at home, school and play.

Compost workshops

Manage food waste and nourish school gardens by learning how to compost effectively at your school.

High Schools

Secondary school visits primarily support a group, club or class of students who wish to actively support positive sustainable change in their school and reduce single use items. Visits include:

  • SRC support to make positive sustainable change through campaigns (such as Reduce Single Use and Recycle Right) and planning/implementation of system changes such as recycling or organics bins and waste reduction action plans
  • School audit, usually undertaken with a class or group
  • Canteen audit and support

Connect with us

Postal Address

The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

View more contacts

40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


Opening Hours

8:15am - 4:30pm

Monday to Friday