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Matua School Fair Diverts 72% of its waste away from landfill

Updated: Nov 2, 2019

The Matua School Fair 2019 was bigger and better than ever. The morning started with quite a bit of rain but surely enough eased up the day was enjoyed by all.

WW provided a big frame with 8 waste streams and a small frame with 4 waste streams. Upon review, the glass and aluminium bins were not necessary and the bins would've been better utilised as another small frame elsewhere on the school grounds.

There were a medium - large amount of vendors, approximately 20 which had a wide variety of products for sale. Some items of waste avoided landfill and some items that could’ve avoided landfill were contaminated with sticky tape like the paper swords. Masking tape would’ve made these compostable. Some of the cupcakes were packaged in plates with corrugated edges then sticky taped up with a ribbon on top. All these items are landfilled. Those plates seam like paper plates but they have a subtle plastic coating.

Textured bowls that had a smooth edge and the triple compartment textured plates are compostable as they are made from cornstarch and sugar cane.

Coffee cups are still a sore spot for us all. Unfortunately P.L.A (poly lactic acid) is not accepted at our commercial composter therefore they are all landfilled. Though they’re marketed as compostable plastic, they are not composted, they are landfilled.

The hot chips punnets are plastic lined and have to be landfilled.

Originally, 7 kilos of landfill was weighed but after sorting through and disposing of all the waste, a total of 10 kilos of landfill was generated over the days fair.

The main things that made up the 15 kilos of compost were the white bowls with the smooth edge, food scraps like cupcakes, hot dogs and miscellaneous food and paper in the form of newspaper (checked for sticky tape) and serviettes.

10 kilos of recycling was collected in the form of mainly plastic, some glass bottles, aluminium cans and a couple tins.

The diversion rate was a lowly 72% and this is due to the aforementioned landfill items.

On the bright side, We teamed up to divert 72% of the events waste away from landfill!

This could be significantly improved by switching sticky tape for masking tape and by ensuring all plate wear is compostable or reusable.

Vincent Callister

Waste Wizard maker

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