Recognition for Cape Naturalist College waste warrior

Taylar AmoniniBusselton Dunsborough Times
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Economics teacher Tannis Brennan, centre, was named a finalist in the 2021 WasteSorted Awards
Camera IconEconomics teacher Tannis Brennan, centre, was named a finalist in the 2021 WasteSorted Awards Credit: DAVID BROADWAY/Picture: David Broadway, DAVID BROADWAY

A Cape Naturalist College teacher has been commended as a waste champion for 2021 thanks to her innovative waste recycling systems implemented throughout the school.

Economics teacher Tannis Brennan was named a finalist in the 2021 WasteSorted Awards this month for her efforts in pushing the local college towards a better waste future.

Over the past two years, Ms Brennan has been implementing better waste practices across the school by implementing a five-bin recycling system for items such as soft plastics, food scraps and general waste.

Initially implementing the routine in the home economics department with only her students, the recycling method has since rolled out to six sites at the school, reducing the amount of general waste by 80 per cent.

Ms Brennan said she was honoured to be recognised in the awards, but it was the entire school community that should be named a champion for making the project so successful.

“I came from the Wheatbelt on a farm and I didn’t like how our food scraps were going in the bin to create methane, so we started with a scrap bucket in the classroom and it grew from there,” she said.

“We moved it out of the classroom as a trial in the Year 7 quad first, and this year has been the initiation of it.

“At the start they were a bit hesitant but now you can see them look at it and do the right thing.

“I’m honoured to be recognised but I only instigated the idea.

“It’s actually the staff and students that have embraced it, and they’re the ones who should have the title of champions.”

Since the whole-school rollout, students have formed a waste warriors committee, begun worm farms, and raised money to invest back into the program through can collections.

Chairman of the Waste Authority Reg Howard-Smith said the 2021 WasteSorted Awards were a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the people making positive change.

“Our waste champions should be applauded for making change on the ground,” he said.

“With the innovation, enthusiasm and dedication displayed by our winners and all of our finalists, we can help transform our State and create a cleaner, greener future for us all.”

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