School cuts down on its trash | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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School cuts down on its trash

The next time you pass by St Joseph’s High School, Wadala, don’t be surprised if you see the students carrying cloth bags. Following a waste audit conducted last September, the school has been encouraging all students to use cloth bags and shun plastic.

mumbai Updated: Mar 30, 2012 01:58 IST
Nikhil M Ghanekar

The next time you pass by St Joseph’s High School, Wadala, don’t be surprised if you see the students carrying cloth bags. Following a waste audit conducted last September, the school has been encouraging all students to use cloth bags and shun plastic.

The audit showed that the school was generating 287 kg of waste in a week, which comprised paper, plastic, food, soil, wood, scrap and metal. The paper waste weighed around 74 kg, while the plastic waste was 83 kg.

Students from Class 1 to Class 10 conducted the waste audit to weigh the amount of garbage the school generated and adopted simple methods to manage and dispose it off in an eco-friendly way.

The waste audit programme was part of a GreenLine campaign. GreenLine is the environment forum of the Don Bosco Development Society, and it awarded the school the Greenest School award on March 16 for efficient waste management.

“We followed a clear plan to segregate plastic, paper and food waste. Plastic and paper waste are sold to scrap dealers while food is used to make compost in the school premises. We did not want paper and plastic to go to the dumping yard, as it is eventually burnt,” said Neel Mehta, a Class 9 student.

The school cut down its use of plastic and stopped using thermocol. “After the audit, the students organised ‘trash talks’, where seniors briefed the juniors on cutting down on the use of plastic and wastage of paper,” said Sunita D’souza, a primary teacher.

The school also started saving unused water from the students’ water bottles. “We placed buckets outside each classroom to collect water that students usually throw away while leaving school. The water is used in the garden,” D’souza said.

GreenLine organisers plan to take the campaign to municipal schools next. “The entire school was dedicated in their waste audits and water-saving initiatives. The activities were not limited to the nature club. They converted an unused garden into a vegetable garden. The activities were varied and involvement was complete, which is impressive,” said Savio Silveira, director, GreenLine.