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School’s Five-Bin Waste System Takes Out Top Prize

Garden Suburb Public School implements five-bin waste system

A five-bin waste system, vegetable garden, energy saving LED lights, water audits and waste-free lunches are what led a Lake Macquarie school to take out an enviable environmental award.


Garden Suburb Public School was one of eight winners in this year’s Lake Macquarie School Environment Awards, taking out the ‘Overall Primary School’ category, for the wide range of environmental and sustainable initiatives it’s taking on.

School Learning Support Officer Julieann Brewer said sustainable initiatives had been followed for decades.

“The kids respond really well, they get really excited,” Mrs Brewer said.

“Our waste initiative is probably our biggest – we have five collection points for Return and Earn, green waste, recycling, soft plastics and general waste.”

Student Edie Hall, age 11, said she regularly participates in environmental activities such as harvesting vegetables and picking up rubbish.

“I love seeing all the kids getting involved with harvesting, like some of the spinach and mandarins,” she said. “The kids go and pick up rubbish – it’s really nice to see.”

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said she was proud to see so many schools adopting green thumbs and reducing their carbon footprint.

“I am so impressed by the initiatives this year’s winners and applicants are taking on,” Cr Fraser said.

“It’s so important children learn environmentally sustainable habits so they can implement them for decades to come.”

St Mary’s Catholic College won ‘Overall High School’ for their efforts planting 1000 trees, shrubs and grasses with Landcare’s school program, implementing drink bottle stations, rain water tanks and LED lights, as well as an impressive bin system.

Macquarie College took out the ‘Innovation Award’ for designing products to save water, creating a second-hand store to up-cycle items and conducting waste audits.

The ‘Energy Award’ went to Booragul Public School for installing solar panels.

Twenty-one schools entered this year’s School Environment Awards Program.

This year’s awards were sponsored by Hunter Resource Recovery, Delta Electricity, Centennial Coal Mandalong and Sanitarium

For more information on sustainable schools around Lake Macquarie, head to

2022 Lake Macquarie School Environment Awards winners




Hunter Resource Recovery

Overall High School

St Mary's Catholic College

Hunter Resource Recovery

Overall Primary School

Garden Suburb Primary School

Hunter Resource Recovery


Hillsborough Public School

Delta Electricity


Macquarie College

Delta Electricity

Ongoing Commitment

Blacksmiths Public School

Centennial Coal Mandalong

Natural Environment

Pelican Flat Public School



Booragul Public School

Lake Macquarie City Council


St Joseph's Primary School


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