School education programmes

These great education programmes available to our local schools are funded through our Council’s Waste Levy Fund.

Enviroschools Programme

The Enviroschools Programme supports and empowers children and young people to plan, design and implement sustainability actions that are important to them and their communities.

It provides relevant life contexts for learners to be connected with their environment and their communities, and how to be actively involved in social, cultural, economic and environmental change. The programme is guided by Māori perspectives, and respect for the diversity of people and cultures is actively celebrated. Read the latest outcomes of this programme in the summaries below.


Download the Thames-Coromandel Enviroschools Report for January 2023(PDF, 1MB)
Download the latest Thames-Coromandel Enviroschools Report for July 2023(PDF, 1MB)
Download the latest Thames-Coromandel Enviroschools Report for July 2024

Paper4Trees Programme

Paper4Trees is a waste minimisation and tree planting programme for New Zealand schools and preschools. 

The programme encourages schools to recycle their paper and cardboard by providing free 30-litre classroom recycling bins. As an incentive to divert as much paper and cardboard from landfill as possible, we reward each school with one native tree/plant for every two cubic metres of paper and cardboard recycled. Our Council funds trees from local nurseries as part of this programme.

The latest Paper4Trees report showed that the programme's outcomes for 2022/2023 were:

  • 32 schools and pre-schools registered
  • 398 native plants planted
  • 94 tonnes of paper and cardboard were recycled
  • 511 tonnes of carbon saved from being produced in landfill
  • 758 cubic metres of space saved in landfill
  • 45 tonnes of carbon expected to be removed from the atmosphere after 50 years. (These measures were based on Trees That Count's carbon calculator.)

Below, the team at Central Kids Tairua Kindergarten describe why they love being part of the programme:

"Tamariki at Central Kid Tairua Kindergarten just love the deliveries of rakau (trees) from Te Whangai Trust.  They get so excited to see the little plants and manaaki the delivery people with excitement and interest. Tamariki lovingly water the rakau (pictured) and grow their knowledge of how to take care of the living world.

We have a Paper4Trees paper bin in the space where tamariki create mahi toi (artwork) and they are so competent and confident with transferring their paper waste into the paper for trees recycling bin. 

We have the kaikōhau (aspiration) of teaching environmental practices in the early years which will stay with our tamariki through their lifetimes.

Ngā mihi mahana TCDC, we appreciate your commitment to Te Taiao! — The team at Central Kids Tairua Kindergarten.

Zero Waste Education Programme

The Zero Waste Education programme 2022 summary showed:

  • Almost 500 students were taught as part of the programme
  • 27 classes were taught at eight local schools and ECEs  
  • The 'Is this really rubbish?' unit was the most popular with students. These lessons look at items of rubbish commonly found in the children’s homes. They are asked to consider the question “Is that really rubbish?” before exploring whether the items could be used again, placed in a recycling bin or fed to the worms in the compost/worm farm.

Download the 2022-2023 Zero Waste Education annual report(PDF, 391KB)

Click here to learn more about Zero Waste Education.