Students lead the charge for a positive and sustainable future

Published 9:00am 28 April 2022

Students lead the charge for a positive and sustainable future
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

Students from Hercules Road State School in Kippa-Ring are determined to protect the earth by recycling their old batteries in a safe and sustainable way.

The school is once again taking part in The Big Battery Rescue school battery recycling challenge, an initiative which was launched by property development company Stockland in 2020.

Hercules Road State School Digital Technology teacher Jodi James says the kids love collecting their old batteries because they know they are doing something good for the planet.

“They all go home and play their Xbox and their Playstations, remote controls and everything else, so when they bring in the batteries, they know they are doing something good,” Jodi says.

“I think it’s a wonderful initiative. The resources and activities that are sent through from Stockland are great and the kids really love getting on board and completing them.

“We can also link the challenge to the curriculum as well, because there are parts in the curriculum that touch on sustainable practices, which then creates great learning opportunities.”

The school were announced as the grand winners in the inaugural challenge in 2020, recycling nearly 200 kilograms of batteries that might have otherwise ended up in landfill.

“I think we recycled a quarter of all the batteries that were collected in Australia that particular year,” Jodi says.

“This year, we are hoping we can reclaim the title.”

The school are also part of another recycling program, which teaches children about other ways of recycling.

“As a school, we also do the paper recycling through the Council as we are committed to implementing more long term and sustainable practices in the school,” Jodi says.

Students lead the charge for a positive and sustainable future

About the challenge

Stockland has partnered with The National Theatre for Children to expand The Big Battery Rescue school battery recycling challenge to 25 schools and 15,000 students across its master planned communities nationally.

Since being launched two years ago, The Big Battery Rescue has collected more than 2000 kilograms of batteries, diverting them from landfill to be recycled.

Stockland Senior Development Manager Blair Britton says initiatives like The Big Battery Rescue help to create change within communities.

“As one of Australia’s largest property developers and a world leader in sustainability, we’re always looking for new ways to offset our climate impact and educate our residents – big and small – along the way,” Blair says.

“The Big Battery Rescue recycling challenge is a terrific community-wide sustainability project and one of the many Stockland initiatives working towards achieving our Net Zero Carbon emissions target by 2028.”

Blair says more can be done to recycle batteries now and into the future, and hopes this initiative will encourage others to sign up.

“One of the key statistics is lithium-ion battery waste is growing at 20 per cent pe annum, yet only two percent is recycled,” he says.

“We hope The Big Battery Challenge changes that and creates greater awareness at a grassroots level with the children.”

How to register

As part of the national challenge, all participating schools receive a free educational program, including live-in-school and livestream educational theatre performances by professional actors from The National Theatre for Children.

Schools will also receive student workbooks, teacher guides, posters, digital games and curriculum-aligned activities on the educational concepts.

Batteries that are collected in the battery recycling buckets at schools are weighed to determine the winners, with prizes to be given to the winning school.

The challenge runs for the whole school year, so if you are wanting to take part, register online at www.bigbatteryrescue.com

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