Waste management is an ever-growing concern in today’s world, and its proper handling is vital for sustainable living. To combat the challenges posed by increasing waste generation, it is crucial for waste management centres to connect with the public, schools, and the community to educate young people and children on responsible waste management. By instilling eco-conscious values and practices at a young age, we can create a generation that actively participates in building a cleaner and greener future.
Among the partners of the Circular Based Waste Management project, the Telšiai Region Waste Management Centre has been organising activities geared towards educating communities on responsible waste disposal. Through various initiatives, the public, schools, youth and children have been engaged in waste management awareness.
One recent example of such activities is “Mission Clean Summer ’23”. This campaign aimed to raise awareness among the general public about keeping the environment clean during the summer months and the impact of littering on the environment when on holiday. Families took part in a tournament on waste sorting and were shown how to take into consideration waste generated when preparing their summer picnic.
On Earth Day, Telšiai organized waste sorting lectures in schools and gave presentations on waste sorting and responsible disposal. These lectures taught children about the importance of waste management and the importance of environmental protection within their communities.
To celebrate European Waste Reduction Week, in collaboration with the schools, activities such as a waste reduction challenge, creative recycling contest, and educational seminar, aimed to make waste management fun and interactive for young students.
The Telšiai Region Centre for Waste Management has also reached youth outside their local region. High students from Palanga, which is on the coast and 80km away from Telšiai, visited the Jerubaiciai landfill to learn about waste management, sorting and the principles of the circular economy. While learning about waste management’s environmental implications, the students were encouraged to take a more active role in waste reduction initiatives within their community.
Learning about circular economy practices were also taken beyond the local classrooms and the region, in a study tour organised by Mažeikiai District Municipality to Norway for school teachers. In addition to good practices, teachers learned about the importance of education in the waste management system and raising children to become environmentally conscious citizens.
During the project, partners have had the opportunity to learn and draw inspiration on how waste management topics are introduced to schools and the public in other countries.
In Ljubljana, Slovenia, the waste management centre emphasized the importance of the municipality’s support in promoting sustainable waste management practices. Through connecting with schools and communities, campaigns and activities aim to inspire young generations to embrace eco-friendly lifestyles and take part in waste reduction initiatives.
In Logroño, Spain, the Ecopark at the waste management centre is mandated by the local government of La Rioja to offer educational tours to local schools. Schools in turn, are encouraged to visit the facility at different stages in their education level with the content adapted each time and becoming more detailed.
The initiatives taken under and witnessed during the project showcase how waste management centres can foster environmental education among young people and children. By connecting with the public, schools, and the community, these centres empower the next generation to adopt practices that are beneficial for the environment. Throughout the project, education has been highlighted as a key element for sustainable waste management and adoption of a circular economy. Investing in the education of young minds today will yield a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for them. Furthermore, by equipping teachers with the necessary knowledge and tools, we can amplify the impact of waste management education and create a positive change throughout society. Through such initiatives, we can build responsible waste management systems and a healthier planet for generations to come.
Maritsa Kissamitaki – Circular Bases Waste Management project – circular-waste.eu