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Proper Waste Management Practices For Kids

Almost every individual generates waste daily. It's crazy how much waste is produced in Australia. Everyone, including kids, needs to learn about proper waste disposal and management methods. They might not do it now, but with time your children will thank you for instilling in them adequate waste management practices from an early age!

Therefore, to teach waste management to children, it is wise to arm yourself with facts and practical tips. Some of the best tips might surprise you, such as teaching children how to creatively reuse garbage like plastic bottles. Remember, you are not limited to teaching your own kids about waste management.

You can extend these lessons to your relatives' kids and even those of your friends or within your community. If you are looking for tips to teach waste management to kids, this article is perfect for you! You'll get a few nifty tips and tricks on teaching children all there is to know about proper waste management.

Why Teach Kids About Waste Management?

Many things can create waste, such as packaging. In addition, waste is created when something is no longer needed or used and thus disposed of. The full amount of municipal solid waste produced in Australia is extremely high yearly, ranging from over 78 million tonnes. Around 29% (22.60 million tonnes) of it ends up in landfills, while only half is recycled.

A typical Australian produces more than half a tonne (540 kg) of trash yearly. Every year, Australian households dispose of over 1.20 tonnes of waste. This then means that educating all, including kids, on waste management is very important. When teaching children about waste management techniques, there are a few things that you could do to help them get started.

First and foremost, you should talk. Talk and teach them about the waste management concepts like "reduce, reuse, recycle." Talking about waste management is a superb way to put eco-friendly thoughts into children's minds early. Remember, generating less waste is one way to encourage these practices.

Ways To Teach Kids About Waste Management

Kids are often pretty curious about the world and want to learn how to be responsible citizens. Teaching them waste management is a great way to encourage responsible behaviour. Moreover, proper waste disposal is an essential issue for everyone in Australia.

It affects the environment and significantly impacts Australia's economy, which adds to why teaching your kids all about waste management is essential. Here are some nifty tips that you could apply to teach kids about waste management practices at home and in all other areas effectively:

Make a plan

Before you ever start throwing away anything, teach your child to make a plan. What do you need, and where can you get it? How can you recycle what you already have? What can you compost? These questions are essential in setting up waste management techniques that work for you.

Start with basics

Talk to your kids about the three main waste management techniques: Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Explain the importance of waste management and how it can help reduce billions of tonnes of waste. Recycling, and reusing waste materials are great ways to reduce waste and help the environment. This is why effective waste management is highly recommended in Australia's early teaching system.

Let them explore

Talk to your children about the different waste material types, then encourage them to look around their homes and see what kind of waste is produced. Show them where you put recyclable materials, such as cans and plastic bottles, and help them sort through their recycling bin to learn more about what goes into it (e.g., paper, plastics, metal). Then, make it engaging by letting them help you choose which items go into the recycling bin and what to reuse for activities like arts and crafts.

Make it fun with arts and crafts

Try activities like making crafts from reusable garbage or creating new games with paper cardboard or cereal boxes. Waste isn't always fun to think about; however, by making it creative and fun, your kids will be more likely to engage with it.

Teach them all there is to know about recycling bins

Label your garbage and recycle bins so you all know what goes where.

Educate them on materials they can compost

Most materials, including food waste, leaves, newspapers, plant material, and broken toys, can be composted. You could also go an extra step further and teach your child how to mix the materials according to the appropriate proportions.

For example, if you want to compost paper, put three parts paper to one part manure. Be sure to remove recyclable items like aluminium cans and plastic bottles from the compost pile when they are full so that the municipality can collect them.

Choose wisely when buying items

Look for products that are manufactured from recycled or reused materials and try to avoid disposable items altogether.  If you have to throw something away, be mindful of how you do it. Try to recycle, reuse, or compost as much as possible.

Separate waste into appropriate bins

Help your community by separating recyclable materials into different bins according to type: plastics, aluminium cans, paper products, etc. This will make it easier for your waste management company to collect more recycling materials, thus reducing the total amount of garbage going to landfills.

Be a responsible citizen when throwing away food waste

For instance, you could dig a big hole in your backyard and fill it with organic waste like fruit and vegetable peels and bones instead of letting them go into the municipal landfill.

Teach them how to pack their belongings as lightly as possible

This will not only help reduce the amount of packing material that needs to be used, but it will additionally free up more space in their luggage and backpack for other things.

Avoid using disposable cleaning supplies and equipment

These products frequently contain harsh chemicals that can harm the environment. If they see you do this, they'll definitely borrow such habits.

Encourage participation in recycling programs

Encourage your children to participate in recycling programs at school or at home. This will help them learn how to properly sort and process their recyclable materials.

Use proper disposal methods for hazardous waste

Use proper disposal methods for hazardous household items, like batteries and pesticides. These materials can pollute our environment and harm human health if mishandled. Make sure to teach your child about handling hazardous waste.

Note: When teaching children all about waste management, it is essential to practice what you preach. The whole purpose is to reduce the amount of waste you create first, then reuse what can be reused and for what you can't, have a proper recycling system, or dispose of it in your recycling bin for the experts to take care of. After all, actions speak louder than words.

All About The Three R's

The three of the nine Rs listed by Greenpeace International should serve as the foundation for your waste management education for your kids. The three Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) are as follows:


You must teach your kids to generate less trash as a whole, from paper, plastic, glass, cardboard, CO2 emissions, and all other materials and chemicals. Since teaching by doing is very effective, think about how to reduce the number of items you need.

If you can remove one or two items from your shopping list, you'll reduce the amount of packaging and materials needed to produce those items. Moreover, try to use recycled materials whenever possible. Recycling can help reduce the number of new materials that need to be produced, and it can also help reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfills.

As a plus, recycled materials are cheaper, so you get a bargain while playing your part in environmental conservation.

Tips for kids on how to reduce waste generation:

• Talk about your waste management practices. Lead by example and teach your children what you do to reduce the amount of waste you generate so that they can follow.

• Avoid packaging as much as possible when buying products. Try to buy items that do not require any packaging at all. You can rest assured that these are practices they are bound to carry into adulthood.


Unfortunately, our society tends to gravitate a lot towards throwing away anything they consider to be trash. This is to say that it's simpler for people to dispose of things rather than give them a second chance by reusing them.

Therefore, encourage your children to reuse goods creatively to capture their interest rather than throwing them away. In addition, don't throw away food or drink containers that are still usable. These items can be recycled or reused instead.


Finally, instil in your children the importance of recycling garbage, any garbage that cannot be reduced or reused. Start by explaining what recycling is and what it does. You could turn to creative animated videos on recycling found on sites like YouTube as kids enjoy cartoons.

By teaching your children about recycling, you are reducing your overall waste volume, conserving natural resources, and reducing the negative environmental impact of waste generation. According to the EPA, properly disposing of waste can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 per cent.

Furthermore, recyclable waste materials can create new products that are less damaging to the environment than those made from virgin materials. Teaching children proper recycling methods help keep valuable resources like metals and plastic bottles from ending up in landfills or being burned for energy.

Therefore, when throwing away items, sort out recyclable waste, and check if there is a recycling centre near you that can take it. Remember that many different recycling programs are available, so find one that works best for you to teach your child.

Teach Major Waste Disposal Systems To Kids

There are many types of waste management systems, and every municipality has its own. We will discuss three common types of waste management, which are as follows:

Municipal solid waste

Municipal solid waste is the most common type of waste. It is made up of everything from food to furniture to newspapers. Municipalities collect MSW from homes, businesses, and institutions and create landfills to store it. The average person produces about 3 kilograms of MSW each day.

Hazardous waste materials

The second type of waste is hazardous waste material. This includes things like chemicals, oil, and batteries. Hazardous material should not be thrown away with regular household garbage because it can cause environmental damage if released into the environment. Municipalities create suitable waste facilities to store and handle these materials in Australia.

Recyclable waste

The third type of waste is recyclable waste. Recyclable materials include plastic bottles and cans, paper products, and aluminium cans. These materials are collected by municipalities and turned into new products like furniture, insulation, or new cans.

Inspire Kids To Practice Waste Management

Teaching kids all about waste management is important. However, your kids are not the only ones who need to think about it. The simple waste management practices listed above can help make a big difference in the long run. To help your kids learn about proper waste disposal management, instil in them the tips above and ensure to practice what you teach them.

In the same vein, you can also use a local skip bin company. These companies are familiar with all types of waste and their proper disposal. Consult them if you or your children need further information on waste management procedures and removal practices.