Waste Smart Games

Brisbane City Council invited all Brisbane schools to join the 2023 Waste Smart Games to be in the running to win from prizes worth $4,500.

Brisbane schools competed in four activities which aimed to help schools learn how to recycle more with a focus on reducing paper and cardboard waste. Students from across Brisbane came together to help create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable city.


To be in the running to win from a prize pool worth $4,500, schools needed to complete four activities by Friday 13 October 2023, with entries judged by a Council panel.

Schools competed for three winning categories:

  • Best Creative Piece - $1,500. Winner – Brisbane Grammar school
  • Best School Recycling Improvement - $1,500. Winner – Sandgate District State High School
  • Waste Smart Games Winner - $1,500. Winner – Pallara State School

Congratulations to all schools who participated in the 2023 Waste Smart Games.

What was involved?

The Waste Smart Games is a competition which offers a choice of four self-paced activities which can be undertaken during the school year.

Activity one: waste audit

For this activity you must complete a waste audit using a Council waste audit kit or another method. This will give you an overall picture of the type and volumes of waste and recycling materials at your school.


  • Complete a self-led waste audit. If you do a waste audit without using Council’s free loan kit, that’s fine. Just make sure to email us details of the audit you did.
  • Take photos of the audit.
  • insert your audit data into the simple online school waste audit tool (optional).

Activity two: learn something new

For this activity, you have a choice of four options; choose and complete one and this will go towards your Waste Smart Games application!


  • Book an incursion for a waste presentation for your class (this is booked via Council’s Environment Centre team). Two incursions are available:
    • It’s Not a Load of Rubbish (Prep to Year 3) or
    • What’s in the bin? (Year 4 to 6)



Activity three: get creative

For this activity we want your school to create a recycling mascot or a video which tracks your school’s recycling. Choose one and get creative!

  • Create a mascot made of recycled materials, such as cardboard and paper.
  • Describe what the materials are and why you chose to make this mascot.


  • Create a short, creative video tracking recycling at your school.
  • Get a Council parental consent form signed for any child that appears in the video or photos of the mascot.
  • Send either photos of the mascot or the video to wastesmartgames@brisbane.qld.gov.au.

Activity four: make an improvement

  • Implement one thing in your classroom or at your school that will improve recycling or reduces waste. The options to do this are unlimited but choose something that is relatively easy to achieve.
  • Take a photo or two and write a brief description.

Need some inspiration? Download the Waste Smart Games teachers checklist (Word - 886kb) which provides school improvement examples, or look at the guide to reducing waste in schools.

More information

The Waste Smart Games encourages healthy school competition. One entry was permitted per school, although if a P-12 school, one entry for the lower school and one for the high school was allowed.

To make things easier, schools could download the Waste Smart Games teachers checklist (Word - 886kb). This stepped teachers through each activity and provided helpful examples along the way.

Related links

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Topics: green

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