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Waardlanden has offered the "Waste-Free Schools" programme since 2014. The aim is to help young people handle waste properly and provide sufficient knowledge. In exchange for the effort schools put into this, schools do not have to pay for the separated waste collected by Waardlanden. Jenaplan School Gorkum is the 74th waste-free school in our municipalities to participate in the programme.

On 28 March, director of Jenaplan School Gorkum Kiki van Steenis and director of Waardlanden Hans van den Brule signed the project's cooperation agreement. Jenaplan School Gorkum can now call itself a waste-free school. Some 80% of all regional primary schools in our region are now waste-free.

Knowledge increases understanding and changes behaviour

Schools want to make students aware that waste contains valuable resources, such as paper, plastic, food scraps and more. Sustainability is therefore increasingly high on the agenda. A good development. Especially since there should be no more residual waste in the Netherlands by 2050 and raw materials are constantly being reused. Fortunately, more and more pupils take a sustainable drinking cup and lunch box with them. This saves mountains of disposable packets, sandwich bags and aluminium foil. Separate waste collection at school is obvious, but proves difficult in practice. The Waste-Free School project can help.

Van Steenis: 'We contacted Waardlanden because we think it is important to reduce residual waste at our school and separate the raw materials properly in the classrooms. It's nice that our pupils can use educational materials that help them do this.'

Support in being or becoming a waste-free school

Awareness and behavioural change are the key words to reduce the flow of residual waste. This is what the municipal councils have decided. Therefore, in the coming years, we are committed to providing schools with sufficient educational and practical support in being or becoming a waste-free school. So that eventually all regional primary schools will be waste-free. And a generation will grow up thinking and acting circularly. For instance, we provide materials and educational material, give guest lectures, organise excursions to an environmental depot, help with teaching programmes and monitor waste separation at schools. Together with the Gorinchem Nature Centre (NCG), we provide environmental education at schools.

Education officer Ozan Cimen of Waardlanden is keen to talk to the small group of primary schools in our region that are not yet participating in the project. He hopes to welcome them as waste-free schools soon as well. Questions about the project? Or does your school have the desire to also join the project? Then contact Ozan Cimen and mail to