case studies

Brookby School Agricultural Day

Brookby School Ag Day

  • Event Type: School and community
  • Description: Annual agricultural day for the school community with animal judging, food, stalls and entertainment. Led by the Brookby School environmental councillors.
  • Size: Around 1,800 attendees in September 2019.
  • Location: Brookby School, Brookby, Auckland
  • Waste Separation: Recyclables, composting, landfill waste
  • Performance: 80% diversion in 2019

How we did:

1 Reduce incoming waste

We wrote a letter to our stall holders advising them that we were running a waste free event and asked them to consider how they could reduce, reuse and repurpose waste from the outset and asked them to use compostable packaging and advised them on how to source it. Our main coffee supplier uses compostable packaging for their coffees, smoothies, straws and serviettes. We ordered compostable food packaging for our café and slushy stall and funded this through the generous support of Waste Disposal Services. We increased our waste stations from 2 to 3 this year to help capture our waste more effectively. We attached examples of the compostable packaging to the composting bins to help attendees place waste in the right place.

2 Choose the right bin

We had three waste stations comprising of composting, recycling and landfill. We had examples of our compostable packaging with our compost bins to help people know what to place in there. We used labelled bin covers and flags from Zero Waste Events to help with visibility. Our bins from Super Trash were labelled and had diagrams which clearly showed what waste went where. On the day we colour coded the bags of waste with coloured tape, green for recycling, yellow for composting and red for landfill.

3 Let people know

Prior to the event on Facebook we announced the event was to be waste free and that we would have waste stations and monitors on the day. MC announcements were used during the event and we had plenty of signage around letting people know we were waste free. Bin stations were actively monitored by staff and/or volunteers. We engaged students from a local high school, Saint Kentigerns, as waste station monitors to buddy with our younger students.

4 Capture feedback

At the 2019 Brookby Ag day, 80% of waste was composted or recycled.

Brookby School Ag Day, 80% Zero Waste

Key Messages:

  • Bin monitors need to check that each attendee knows where to put their waste.
  • Bin stations have to be very clearly labelled and positioned strategically in the event space to capture as much waste as possible, with plenty of bins available.
  • Vendors were asked to use compostable packaging and we provided compostable packaging for our main café and slushy stall which were run by the school.
  • With a little organisation a waste free event is very achievable and highly rewarding.

Key Learnings:

  • Identifying all the possible waste streams when organising the event really helps to anticipate and plan for reducing the waste.
  • Bin monitors are essential to attendees putting waste in the right bin.
  • Attendees of the event were very happy and supportive to see the range of packaging that was compostable and that a waste free event was possible.
  • Having a waste free event provides a feel good factor.
  • Local businesses are happy to provide sponsorship for something that benefits the environment.
  • In a primary school is very helpful to have excellent high school aged students buddying up with younger students to monitor the waste stations.
  • It can be challenging to get vendors to follow waste guidelines with sorting of back of house waste.
  • You will still get very strange waste coming through that you didn’t anticipate, for us it was coconuts.