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Sample Consumption & Waste Action Plan

Learning Objectives

  • Interpret data from the waste audit.
  • Evaluate needs arising from the audit data.
  • Provide realistic solutions to these needs.
  • Co-operate effectively as a group.

Curriculum Links

  • English, Science, Geography, Citizenship

Eco-Schools USA Pathways

  • Consumption and Waste, School Grounds


Before this activity, you should carry out a waste audit.

Creating the Action Plan

1. Waste audit review

  • Present the data collated from the waste audit and, as a group, identify the waste 'hot spots' and most common types of waste found at the school. Discuss why certain locations and materials present greater problems than others and agree on likely explanations.

2. Group brainstorming

  • In small groups, brainstorm solutions to the school's waste issues. Groups can be assigned specific hot spots or materials to address. Alternatively, all groups can be assigned the same prominent waste issues to achieve a greater variety of interesting solutions.
  • As a team, discuss and agree on the most effective solutions.
  • Compile these solutions into a final action plan. See sample waste action plan(PDF, 37 Kb), and access a blank action plan (Word document, 31 Kb).
  • Assign tasks to appropriate individuals within the team and across the school. Agree on realistic timeframes in which tasks should be completed.

3. Execution of tasks

  • Set aside time for students to carry out the activities they have assigned themselves and to notify other staff and students of the responsibilities assigned to them.
  • Provide training to staff and students on implementing the waste reduction campaign. For example, students can prepare a training session for their classmates to discuss what can be recycled, where, and how to avoid contamination (throwing the wrong material into the bin).
  • Set up the school for success. For example, distribute recycling containers and clearly label them with stickers and posters.

Follow Up

  • Set a review date to revisit your action plan as a group. Analyze how far you have come and identify what else you can do.
  • Schedule a follow-up waste audit after a few months to measure the effectiveness of your scheme.

Extension Ideas

  • Add a section on waste reduction to your school's website.
  • In regular assemblies, share results, achievements and development plans for the future.
  • Prepare a school notice board showing graphs of results and achievements.
  • Involve the local press and radio to let everyone know about the school's scheme.
  • Team up with another school in the area to share ideas.
  • Have students develop a database with the help of spreadsheet software to record information, draw graphs and analyze the data.

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