The IMPACT Project: Stratford High School Waste Audit

IMPACT is a programme of the Taranaki Environmental Education Trust. It is a youth action incubator, facilitating youth-led environmental projects that engage with, and give back to, the local community.  Students involved at Stratford High have volunteered their time as they are interested in protecting and enhancing their environment, both at school and in the wider community. For the project, the students decided they wanted to better understand what happens to their food waste and how they could divert it from landfill. In this pursuit, they decided to undertake an audit of our refuse.

A team of 25 students sorted 3 days of school waste to identify what could be diverted from landfill. In particular, the group was interested in the amount of food waste that is generated, and how this could be used to feed chooks they would like to introduce on site at the school. They found there would be around 50 kg a week. That should feed quite a few chooks! Recycling this waste stream that would other wise go in the landfill creating carbon dioxide and methane.

Thank you for your help IMPACT Youth co-ordinators Jo Weise and Laine Phillips of the Taranaki Environmental Education Trust), Nadine Ord Waste Minimization Officer Taranaki Regional Council, and Stratford District Councilor Alan Jamieson.


The students were surprised about the amount of waste generated at school.  By going through the process of a waste audit, students gained a clear and very visual understanding of the amount of waste we make each week.