Warrnambool | A City for Living

4 Rs

Decide what you would like to achieve:

There are many ways to begin the 4Rs journey and your school could do as much or as little of the program as it has the capacity and motivation to undertake.

Revamping your whole waste management system does take extra work and effort but set up well and with whole school commitment, the results should be worthwhile including excellent role modelling for students, fantastic learning opportunities and eventually when the system is working well, there may even be a reduction in waste costs.

The 4Rs is based on the Waste Hierarchy or Waste Pyramid, where the principles of waste management revolve around the most preferred to the least preferred option.

Not creating waste in the first place is the highest ideal and disposing of waste in landfill is the worst possible outcome.


 Why include the 4Rs in the Healthy Moves program?

The diagram below depicts the interdependency of a Healthy Environment on a Healthy mind and body


Objectives of the 4Rs:

  • Reduce litter in & around the school yard
  • Students eating healthier, less processed foods
  • Reduction in foodwaste
  • Increasing students’ knowledge of the impact of litter on the environment and the impact of foodwaste on the WORLD
  • Increasing students’ sense of ownership of & responsibility for, their school grounds
  • Long term reduction in garbage collection costs

Here are a number of ways to get involved in the 4Rs:


  • Clean Up Australia Day – March annually
  • World Environment Day
  • Hold a Nude Food or Rubbish Free Lunch Day
  • National Recycling Week – this might be a good chance to do an audit of your classroom’s waste or have fun with some reuse / recycled art.

Behaviour Change

  • Classroom
  • Staffroom
  • Schoolyard


  • Cleaners 
  • Parents
  • Whole of school buy in
  • Principal
  • Staff
  • Students
  • School Council

Implement new systems & infrastructure

  • Implement recycling in you classroom
  • Implement recycling and a foodwaste collection in your classroom
  • Implement recycling across the whole school
  • Introduce a composting or worm farming system and capture some or all of your school’s foodwaste.
  • Get some chooks.

Implement new policies

  • Introduce a rubbish free policy across the whole school and therefore remove all schoolyard bins – what a statement!!

Check out Fantastic resources:

Check out the resources section of this webpage for ideas, inspiration and information.


Waste Management Infrastructure

There are so many different options for bins and composting. Have a look under resources, you are sure to find something to suit your school’s needs.