Year 10 Windsor High School students turning trash into treasure

Year 10 Windsor High School students turning trash into treasure

Four year 10 Windsor High School students are taking the lead when it comes to accessible recycling through a simple yet effective recycling management system.

Shocked to find that more than 50 percent of recyclable items at their school ended up in general waste, Sean, Harrison, Chase and Caleb designed CASH CAGE’s, where any passersby can deposit recyclable items. The cages are then emptied at the local ‘Return and Earn’ service, turning the waste into profit and reinvesting this in the school and community.

The CASH CAGE initiative has earned its creators the 2018 Innovation Nation Award, which celebrates Years 10 and 11 students developing innovative solutions to local community challenges as part of the Innovation Nation in Schools program.

Funded by Citi Foundation, Innovation Nation in Schools is an in-school enterprise learning program that provides young people with the skills, coaching and seed funding to develop innovative solutions to local community challenges while developing their enterprise and employability skills. The program is designed for Year 10 and 11 students and is facilitated through Western Sydney schools.

The team said that their creation was an opportunity for their community to do its part in combating a wasteful culture.

“So many things that can be easily recycled get thrown away because many people don’t realise that it shouldn’t go into general waste,” the team said.

“Through CASH CAGE, we hope community members will better identify recyclables, reuse plastics where possible, and reduce their impact on our environment through more educated consumer consumption.”

The team plan to run educational activities, promotional events and offer other recyclable offerings such as composting and paper waste bins.

“We’ve learnt a lot about waste management and how Windsor High School can be the model for other schools to change their ways when it comes to recycling. It’s given us the knowledge and confidence that we can make a positive change in our local community.”

FYA CEO, Jan Owen AM said the program highlights the need to invest in the next generation of changemakers.

“I have spent decades working with children and young people. I have never encountered so many with the heads and hearts to make the world a fairer, more equitable or more inclusive place.

There’s so much we can learn from these young people, and the thousands like them across the world. Unleashing the potential they possess is not just an important endeavour, it’s an urgent one – and programs like Innovation Nation in Schools help ensure they have the opportunity to build the skills and mindset to create the change they want to create.”


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