This programme compares wise waste management choices with their alternatives. Reduce Reuse Recycle Recover are the themes for the day.

Year level 3 to 13
Curriculum Level 2 to 5
Availability Available year round
Length 2.25 hours
Site Organic Processing Plant (OPP), EcoDrop (Metro Place)
Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35

Special requirements: closed in shoes must be worn.

Programme outline

Key concepts

Waste minimisation and management, sustainability, personal and social responsibility for action, reduce, reuse and recycle, natural cycles for dealing with waste.

Lesson description/intentions

This programme is a shorter alternative to A Waste of a Day Out, suitable for younger students. Students will gain an understanding of waste hierarchy and effective waste minimisation and management processes through a visit to two key sites in Christchurch.

  • Organics Composting Plant – students will see where the green bins are dumped resulting in organic composting on a massive scale and experience the organic life cycle.
  • EcoDrop, Metro Place – an opportunity to witness the recycling drop zone in action and see the unnecessary waste being taken to the landfill. Students will put their understanding to the test in a challenge to reduce, reuse and recycle rather than dispose of items.

Possible success criteria

Students may be able to:

  • explain the importance of putting the right organic waste in the green bin
  • identify changes made in the recycling process
  • identify items in the refuse pit that should have been placed elsewhere
  • give examples of ways to reduce or reuse.

Key competencies

  • Thinking – students will use creative, critical and metacognitive processes to make informed choices regarding sustainable methods of dealing with and reducing waste.
  • Managing self – students will be encouraged to display a 'can-do' attitude in terms of waste minimisation; our aim is to empower students to want to make a difference.
Learning area Strand Curriculum level Achievement objectives


Nature of science

2 to 4

  • Communicating in science
  • Investigating on science
  • Participating and contributing


Living world

2 to 4

  •  Ecology


Nature of technology

2 to 4

  •  Characteristics of technology

Social sciences



  • Understand that people have social, cultural and economic roles, rights and responsibilites
  • Understand how people make choices to meet their needs and wants

Social sciences



  • Understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources

Social sciences



  • Understand how innovation creates opportunites and challenges for people, places and environments
  • Understan how producers and consumers exercise their rights and meet their responsibilities
  • Understand how people participate indiviually and collectively in response to community challenges

Health and physical education

Personal health and physical development

3 to 5

  • Safety management
  • Personal identity

Health and physical education

Healthy communities and environments

3 to 4

  • Societal attributes and values

Health and physical education

 Healthy communities and environments


  •  Rights, responsibilities and laws/people and the environment


"Lively explanations and questioning of students. Excellent. Kept them thinking" – Teacher, Years 9/10

"A lot of stuff you throw out can be reduced, reused and recycled and it can go to so many more places other than the dump" – Student Year 10 

Possible NCEA links

Geography 1.6 (90207)

Describe a contemporary geographic issue

Geography 2.6 (90331)

Examine a contemporary geographic issue and evaluate courses of action

Geography 3.6 (90706)

Analyse a contemporary geographic issue and evaluate courses of action

Social studies 1.2 (90216)

Describe peoples participation in society

Social studies 2.2 (90272)

Describe how people's actions influence society

Social studies 3.2 (90690)

Examine people's responses to challenges facing society