Remote recyclers feed local dogs
Students at remote Yarralin School are providing working dogs with recycled human food.
The school — about 385km from Katherine — has adopted the practice as a sustainability project.
The program is delivered in partnership with Spud Thomas, farm manager at the nearby Kidman Springs Research Station.
Lead teacher Sharon Cramp-Oliver said: “About fifty kids from Transition to Year 7 are recycling the leftovers of lunch and breakfast, including bread crusts, toast, cereals and hot lunches to feed Spud’s dogs.
“The kids put their leftovers in a bowl, and they are transferred to a bucket for me to take to the farm and feed the dogs. It’s great for the dogs, we don’t waste food, and we don’t have to worry about flies and maggots in our rubbish bins.”
Ms Cramp-Oliver said as a reward for recycling food the students are taken to the local Opportunity Shop where they are allowed to pick one item.
Year 1 student Lachlan said he likes contributing to the environmentally clean initiative, and enjoys his visits to the Opportunity Shop.
“I got some hats, and I got my sister a blue jumper,” he said.
Classmate Corinthia, also a fan of hats, believes the dogs and the air quality near the rubbish bins benefit.
“We feed the dogs so they can be big, and (decomposing) food would stink,” she said.
Ms Cramp-Oliver said plastic food containers are also targeted.
“When we get hot lunches at school, the students and staff take home the leftover Chinese food containers for reuse,” she said.
“We also donate them to the local Community Development Program for the storage of nails, bolts and nuts. It’s better than sending them to the dump to be burnt.”