The wheels on the bus are powered by recycling at Peel High, after the school found a genius way to use the Container Deposit Scheme to both improve and enhance the lives of students in their Special Education Unit.
Late last year the school was awarded a $45,000 grant from the Variety Children’s Charity for a wheelchair-capable 12 seat bus.
The school chipped in the remaining funds, and while the bus is in final stages of being fitted out, the students have found the perfect way to pay for fuel.
Every day after lunch the support unit students don their protective gear and collect all the cans, bottles and cartons that have been thrown out that day.
Once a week they go on an excursion to the Reverse Vending Machine at Calala, and cash in the containers.
Teacher Tom Gasson said that so far they are averaging $200 a week, that amounts to 2000 containers, or 400 a day.
“There was no recycling at all in the school prior to this, which has been a concern,” Mr Gasson said.
“The kids really enjoy it, and it not only means that no costs are passed on to the students, but they are also learning about conservation, recycling and waste management.”
The bus will add even more independence to what is already a highly regarded special education program, and will be used to give students, particularly those that rely on wheelchairs much greater access to community based events and activities.
“We have great resources in the school, but it is hard to get out of the school sometimes,” Mr Gasson said.
“The bus will be used to access the hydrotherapy pool, the Riding for the Disabled centre, as well as a shopping program where the students are taken to the supermarket to learn about healthy eating and money handling.”
“At the moment taxis or private wheelchair vehicles cost about $50 for each student on each trip.
“We have been very lucky that Variety got on board and helped out, otherwise we would never have got this off the ground.”
The shiny new bus is expected to be ready and in action midway through next term.