Dealing with the huge amount of waste we produce is one of the biggest problems facing people of planet Earth. In urban areas, waste is collected and taken to landfill sites and this causes many problems. There are better ways to deal with waste other than dumping it at landfill sites. We live in a ‘throw- away society’. Without thinking about it, we continuously add to the huge amounts of waste that people on Earth throw away each year.
Grade 11 Life Science Learners (about 100) visited the Mariannhill landfill site to see first-hand what happens to our waste.
Each did a project on waste management in their homes. Waste was collected for a period of 1 week and sorted into different categories. The amount of waste in each category was weighed and plotted onto a graph. Each learner had to come up with a strategy to reduce waste in their homes. Most of the waste collected, they realised, is recyclable. Organic waste can be used in a worm farm or by starting a compost heap. Leaners came up with a number of ways to reduce the amount of waste produced which included buying only what is needed, avoiding highly packaged goods, taking reusable shopping bags when shopping, reusing items for other purposes, not buying disposable products, buying in bulk, using reusable packaging and repairing appliances instead of throwing them away.
At school the whole school is involved in recycling plastic, paper (a weekly competition is held), glass, cans, printer cartridges. The school also has a worm farm for organic waste produced from the tuck shop and egg boxes from Consumer Studies. Waste also gets reused by Danville’s green Business, Originally Made green, to make products which are sold to make money for charity. Danville also participated in a few beach clean-ups this year.