A new composting system is helping Stratford Primary School pupils to reduce waste and look after the environment.
Enviroschools coordinator Marlene Lewis says the pupils wanted to find a way to reduce waste.
"The students thought it would be great to have a composting system. I was made aware of the Ministry of Education's Sustainability Contestable Fund that could go towards funding the system. The funding was approved late last year."
Sarah Anglesey, 11, says the most important thing people can do for the earth is composting.
"Everything we eat except seafood can be made into compost. The compost gives nutrients to the soil and in turn the soil feeds us through the fruit and vegetables grown in a garden."
Marlene says she has been working with Richard Wallis and Tim Bowater from Auckland's CarbonCycle Company.
"We had been working together to find a time that suited them to come down and build the system and talk to the pupils about compost."
The composting system is made using a metal frame and side and lid slats. The composter's removable side slats and overall design reduce labour time and the box's size and materials promote heat retention for killing weeds and pathogens, and breaking down compostable material.
On May 4 Richard and Tim travelled from Auckland to see the students.
Malakai Rova, 12, says he enjoyed the learning experience.
"We learnt how to make both the compost system and the compost. Compost is like a sandwich. There is grass and leaves at the bottom, food scraps and lawn clippings in the middle and then it is covered with coffee sacks to keep in the moisture and warmth. The composting system is an 'L' shape with three containers."
Keith Patterson, 12, says Tim and Richard were good at explaining things.
"They were very kind. Not only did they teach us and explain things well, they also involved us in the entire process of building the system. It was a very valuable learning experience."
Tessa Coulson, 13, says one of the driving factors behind wanting a composting system is the free school lunches programme.
"The trays they come in are compostable and there are some food scraps from the lunches as well. We are wanting to be more sustainable."
Marlene says it is important to teach children about sustainability.
"They are the future and they need the right tools to look after the earth."
Hunter O'Dea, 12, says the compost will be going into the school garden.
"We only have one planet we need to look after it and a way to do that is feeding the soil."