School Infrastructure NSW’s Sustainable Schools Grants invite all NSW public schools to apply for funding up to $15,000 to deliver practical sustainability-focused projects that link to the NSW curriculum.

Applications are due 11 December 2020. That’s soon but no need to panic. We’re here to help!

To simplify your application Reverse Garbage has prepared two options for programs we can run within your school:

  • Waste-wise audit: students measure waste generated and identify strategies to reduce it across the school
  • Sustainability sampler – a range of workshops that explore several of the components of sustainbility

 If you like what you see, simply cut and paste the answers into the online grant application.

If you would like to explore other ways of empowering your students and to make their learning environments more sustainable, please get in touch and we can tailor a program and quote for you.

Reverse Garbage has been delivering sustainability education programs since we were established by a group of teachers in 1975. Our team of educators consists of experienced qualified primary teachers, environmental scientists and creative reuse experts.

You can find more information about the grant program here or Reverse Garbage here.

We look forward to working with you.

Option 1 – Waste-wise Audit

3. Project name
Waste-wise Audit

4. Amount requested
See prices below each option with Q10. Your total amount will depend on the number of children you would like to include.

10. Summarise your project (100 words)
Before students can reduce waste they need to understand it.

Reverse Garbage will conduct a whole school waste audit with students. We’ll investigate the waste generated in classrooms, canteens, administration, sports sheds, grounds and maintenance etc.

Students will sort, classify, count, record and report their findings. With RG’s environmental scientist they’ll explore the waste hierarchy to uncover strategies to reduce waste. They’ll consider each stage of the waste cycle from production, packaging and purchasing through to the destruction of waste.

On completion, students will create a sustainability plan to assist the school in improving their waste management.

Time frame: School’s choice: A full school day or four 1.5 hour sessions over four weeks or four terms.
Student: Prices provided are up to 30 students in each group. Multiply by the groups you would like to run, whether it by class or year group.
Sydney Metro Schools: $1500 one full day
Blue Mountains / Central Coast / Illawarra: $1400
Other areas: please ask for a quote.

11. What is innovative about your project or what are new insights it could offer other schools?
This innovative hands-on and practical activity allows students to see for themselves what is being thrown away in the different areas of the schools. They will be given the opportunity to come up with ideas on how they can reduce the wastage.

They will be empowered by the discovery that much of the waste can be avoided, reused (compost or worms) or become a revenue stream either for the school or the P&C.

By inviting environmental educators, Reverse Garbage to deliver the program, we are confident that their expertise and experience will motivate students to improve our school’s sustainability outcomes… and inspire other local schools to follow suit.

12. How many students do you expect to be engaged with your project?
Tailor your answer to your school: You can run this with your school leadership team, class reps, a whole class or year groups. It’s up to you. Just remember to adjust your budget according to the number of students.

13. Summarise (and quantify if possible) the key sustainability improvements that this project will deliver? (100 words)
By involving students in quantifying the waste, and educating them on alternatives and solutions to reduce the waste, we expect they will take ownership of the challenge which is proven to increases the ongoing success of the project.

With the guidance of Reverse Garbage, the students will present a sustainability plan to the whole of school. This will include simple steps to minimise the waste in all areas.

The students will be encouraged to conduct a follow up audit to quantify the improvements in the school’s waste management.

14. How will your project link to the NSW curriculum? (100 words)
Maths: counting, sorting, classifying, statistics, graphing and data reporting. 

Science: Material and Properties, observation and data collection, recording and reporting, making predictions.

Sustainability: Consumer power, healthy decisions, needs and wants, waste hierarchy, packaging, landfill, waste. Single use.

15. How many parents and/or volunteers will be involved with your project?
For your info only: We do not expect you to provide volunteers, but we always appreciate an extra hand with this activity.

16. Will your project include the use of local contractors or suppliers?
Yes

17. If yes, briefly describe. (50 words)
We will invite environmental educators, Reverse Garbage to facilitate this program. Established by a group of teachers, Reverse Garbage has been delivering sustainability education programs since 1975. Their team of educators consists of experienced qualified primary teachers, environmental scientists and creative reuse experts.

18. List ways in which you will document and share your project achievements.
For you to tailor to your school:

Students will present their initial measurements and findings to fellow students via school assemblies (or the COVID-safe equivalent) and posters on school noticeboards.

To educate and involve parents and teachers, students will write articles in the school newsletter and on the school’s social media and website.

22. Please upload the safety risk assessment and Management Plan.
Reverse Garbage has a Workshop Risk Management Plan for incursions. Click here to use ours or  provide your own.

Option 2 – Sustainability sampler

3. Project name
Sustainability sampler

4. Amount requested
See prices below each option with Q10. Your total amount will depend on the number of children you would like to include.

10. Summarise your project

For Sydney Metro Schools

We will invite Reverse Garbage to deliver five 1.5 hour hands-on sessions over five weeks providing students them with a solid overview of sustainability education.

  1. Overview: An excursion to the Marrickville warehouse to explore the rescued industrial and commercial discards, the reuse garden with worms and composting, and participate in a Reuse Maker activity.
  2. Repurposing and repair – making something new from something that has been discarded. (design, STEM)
  3. Microplastics – landfill and oceans (waste, packaging, single use)
  4. Reuse artworks (assemblage, sculpture)
  5. Sustainable house maker workshop – (water saving, energy, building design, compost, worms)

Price: $2,500 for one class up to 30 children – does not include transport for the incursion.
Can be tailored to all age groups from Stage 1-3.

For Blue Mountains / Illawarra / Central Coast Schools

We will invite Reverse Garbage to deliver a whole day incursion providing students with a thorough sampling of sustainability topics.

Session 1. Repurposing and repair – making something new from something that has been discarded (design, STEM)

Session 2. Reuse artworks (assemblage, sculpture)

Session 3. Sustainable house maker workshop for Stage 2 and 3 (water saving, energy, building design, compost, worms) or Kooky Characters for Stage 1 (materials, construction techniques)

Whole day visit 9.30am-3pm with 1 hour or 1.5 hour sessions – depending on school’s timetable.
Price: $1400 for one class up to 30 children – does not include transport for the incursion.
Can be tailored to all age groups from Stage 1-3.


An alternative approach is to pick ‘n mix workshops from the range on our website that fit within your curriculum.

11. What is innovative about your project or what new insights could it offer other schools?
The powerful combination of factual information and creative opportunities engages children in the project.

Reverse Garbage workshops encourage children to think differently about waste. As they create their masterpieces from our reuse resources, we talk to them about reducing, reusing and recycling, and sustainable living in general.

14. How will your project link to the NSW curriculum?
Maths: counting, sorting, classifying, statistics, graphing and data reporting. 

Science: Material and Properties, observation and data collection, recording and reporting, making predictions.

Design: Planning, testing and making adjustments.

Sustainability: Consumer power, healthy decisions, needs and wants, waste hierarchy, packaging, landfill, waste, single use.

Art: Assemblage and weaving.

Construction: Joining techniques without glue and tape.

15. How many parents and/or volunteers will be involved with your project?
For your info only: We do not expect you to provide volunteers, but we always appreciate an extra hand with this activity.

16. Will your project include the use of local contractors or suppliers?
Yes

17. If yes, briefly describe. (50 words)
We will invite environmental educators, Reverse Garbage to facilitate this program. Established by a group of teachers, Reverse Garbage has been delivering sustainability education programs since 1975. Their team of educators consists of experienced qualified primary teachers, environmental scientists and creative reuse experts.

18. List ways in which you will document and share your project achievements.
For you to tailor to your school:

Students will present their initial measurements and findings to fellow students via school assemblies (or the COVID-safe equivalent) and posters on school noticeboards.

To educate and involve parents and teachers, students will write articles in the school newsletter and on the school’s social media and website.

22. Please upload the safety risk assessment and Management Plan.
Reverse Garbage has a Workshop Risk Management Plan for incursions. Click here to use ours or  provide your own.