Tauranga City Council’s Resource Wise Schools programme was developed to empower future generations to behave more sustainable around waste and recycling. The programme is a collaboration between the Council, local waste education experts Waste Education NZ, EnviroEd and Paper4trees, and local schools.
In a New Zealand first, the programme introduces a way to quantitatively measure progress and success through a waste audit. This, combined with education and practical tools (Council-supplied worm farms and compost bins), sets the programme apart from other waste education initiatives.
The waste audit enables schools to benchmark the amount of waste being composted or recycled instead of going to landfill. It sets goals for improvement and measures progress. Gamification ensures the programme is fun.
Since 2014, 425 tonnes of waste has been diverted from landfill as a result of the programme.
Tauranga was the first New Zealand city to provide council-led education to local schools around sustainability, starting in 1994.