Ever wondered what happens to your recycling after it is collected? Where does it go and what is it recycled into? On this programme, students learn about the reduce, reuse and recycle aspects of the waste management hierarchy.

Free bus offer available.

Book a Learning Through Action school programme

Risk analysis and management information (RAMS) will be sent out once a programme booking is confirmed. If you require this at any other stage please email LTA@ccc.govt.nz or contact us(external link).

Programme overview

Year level 5 to 13
Curriculum level 2 to 8
Availability Year-round

9.30am to 12.15pm or midday to 2.30pm


EcoSort (Parkhouse Road Materials Recovery Facility—MRF),
EcoDrop Parkhouse Rd (EcoDepot/Refuse Station) or

Cost Free
Number of students Maximum of 35
Special requirements There are special parking requirements for this programme.
Closed-in shoes must be worn.

Key concepts

  • Waste minimisation and management.
  • Waste hierarchy.
  • Recycling methods and technology.
  • Sustainability.
  • Personal and social responsibility for action.

Lesson description

Ever wondered what happens to your recycling after it is collected from the kerbside? Where does it go, how is it sorted, what is it recycled into, and how can we get it right?

On this programme students learn about the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle aspects of the waste management hierarchy at three key sites:


From the safety of the Education Room students will have the opportunity to see the Materials Recovery Facility in action as recycling from yellow bins from around Christchurch is dropped off to be sorted and processed. Students will participate in activities to identify key aspects of waste management and minimization and will be challenged to consider how waste products can be viewed as resources.


Students will have the opportunity to see where unwanted but usable materials that cannot be recycled through the yellow wheelie bin can be dropped to keep them out of landfill.


This is an opportunity for students to use their imaginations and work creatively and collaboratively with the pre-loved items at the EcoShop to meet a “Flat-Out” challenge.

Learning outcomes

We are learning to:

  • Organise the key waste actions into a hierarchical order of importance for waste minimisation and management.
  • Evaluate the cost-benefit ratio of a variety of products based on environmental, financial and time costs to determine a best-fit product.
  • Understand how yellow wheelie bin items are mechanically sorted, what items they are recycled into and the importance of best practice when putting items in the yellow bin.
  • Understand the value of high-quality used goods and the importance of keeping these items out of landfill.

Key competencies

Using language, symbols and texts

Students will interpret images, symbols and text to understand different aspects of the recycling process.


Students will use critical and evaluative processes to determine the best-fit product from a variety of options, based on price, environmental impact and convenience.

Managing self

Across three different learning sites, students will manage their learning and behaviour and act in an appropriate and safe manner.

Participating and contributing

Students will contribute to expanding group knowledge by understanding the recycling process and how to action this knowledge back in the classroom.

Relating to others

Students will work collaboratively and supportively to complete tasks; take turns and support their classmates.

Achievement objectives

Curriculum area Strand and level Objective
Nature of Science
Levels 2 to 8
Investigating in science
Communicating in science
Participating and contributing
Material World
Levels 2 to 8
Properties and changes of matter
Chemistry and society
Technological Practice
Levels 2 to 8
Brief development
Outcome development and evaluation
Technological Knowledge
Levels 2 to 8
Technological products
Technological systems
Nature of Technology
Levels 2 to 5
Characteristics of technology
Characteristics of technological outcomes
Social Sciences
Tikanga ā-Iwi
Levels 2 to 8 Social studies
Health and Physical Education
Healthy Communities and Environments
Levels 2 to 4
Societal attitudes and values
Community resources
People and the environment

NCEA standards

Level 1

Subject Standard
Chemistry 1.2 AS90931
Economics AS90983
Mathematics and Statistics 1.1 AS91026
Science 1.2 AS90941
1.7 AS90946
Physics 1.2 AS90936
1.3 AS90937
Social Studies 1.4 AS91042
1.5 AS91043
Generic Technology 1.5 AS91048
1.6 AS91049
1.7 AS91050
1.8 AS91051
1.9 AS91052
Processing Technologies 1.61 AS91083

Level 2

Subject Standard
Environmental Sustainability AS90810
Business Studies AS90843
Social Studies AS91282
Generic Technology 2.8 AS91361
2.9 AS91362
2.10 AS91363
Processing Technologies 2.61 AS91352

Level 3

Subject Standard
Business Studies US25424
Business Operation and Development US27765
Environmental Sustainability AS90828
Social Studies 3.1 AS91596
Generic Technology 3.8 AS91615
3.14 AS91619