Pirie students get on board with recycling operation

Students at Airdale Primary School are doing their bit to keep Port Pirie beautiful.

Earlier this year, the school's old woodworking shed was transformed into a recycling shed in the aim to send less waste to landfill.

The idea came about in collaboration with Airdale Primary School, Keeping South Australia Beautiful (KESAB) and the Port Pirie Regional Council.

Using a four bin system, students work together to separate waste into soft plastics, recycling and organic material, as well as having a refundable department in which the money is reinvested into the school canteen.

School teacher Luke Edwards said with no other schools using the recycling operation, they decided to take it on board.

"We took them on an excursion to the waste station and they saw the landfill and all the stuff coming out of your bin at home," he said.

"They got an understanding as to what happens when things go to landfill, which is not always so great."

With litter collection and waste often used as a form of punishment for children, Mr Edwards said the operation is about making the community a better place.

"For these guys it's a life skill and something that they can take forward with them forever," he said.

"Firstly, it's a massive teamwork operation. They work in teams of three or four and not always their friends.

"They also have to be able to understand the different types of waste and then coming back to it is not a punishment, they are actually doing something positive for themselves by making the school and community cleaner."

Students also collect ring pulls from cans, which can be donated to make wheelchairs and bottle tops are recycled by Lids for Kids who make prosthetic limbs for children.

School captain Bella Veale said she loves seeing other students helping the environment.

"It makes me feel happy and glad, but also somewhat proud that I am doing something to help my community and others," she said.

"I have learned that certain things don't actually go in the bins that I thought they would, so glad wrap for instance I thought would go in the soft plastics bin, but it goes in the red bin because it can't be recycled.

"It is important to reduce landfill, so that we can have a cleaner Earth to live in and that we can't harm any of our ecosystem or animals."

Deputy school captain Jett Jackson said he feels "really special" to be a part of doing something good for the school and wider community.

"It makes me feel like we can stop all the food and waste going in the ocean, around the school and South Australia," he said.

"It is really good because at least everyone is getting along and it can be fun and it's also hands on, which people like.

When asked if he had a message to share with other schools, Jett said: "Well maybe you should start thinking about what Airdale Primary School has been doing and using a recycling shed to start helping the environment."

Mr Edwards would like to thank the Port Pirie Regional Council and KESAB for their support and also the school for allowing the recycling operation go ahead.