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Zero Waste project enlists international help

Zero Waste project enlists international help
July 12, 2005

Making better use of what we throw away is a good idea in anyone's language.

And now North Shore City's 'zero waste' messages are reaching a new and wider audience, thanks to a team of multi-lingual tutors funded by the council's WasteWise programme.

The Kaipatiki Project initiative has recruited eight bilingual volunteers to promote composting and the value of waste reduction in their native Indonesian, Cantonese, Korean and Mandarin.

The Kaipatiki group's education co-ordinator, Kate Jackson, says there is a wealth of knowledge in the migrant community about the environment and waste minimisation.

"What's missing is the support to transfer it to a New Zealand context," she says.

The Kaipatiki Project teaches about 600 people each year how to compost in free classes around the Auckland region.

"About 40 per cent of the rubbish we produce is either food or garden waste, and can be easily recycled," she says.

The new trainers attended a three-day workshop at Kaipatiki earlier in the year, and are now busy spreading the word. Irene Jap, a full-time mortgage manager, recently held a composting session for 11 Indonesian households, and has two more events planned for later in the year.

Julia Yue and Cecilia Kwok, meanwhile, are volunteers for the Chinese Conservation Education Trust, and have been holding courses in Mandarin for the Chinese community. These have focussed on recycling and worm farming, with group discussions, data shows, and hands-on activities like separating waste items.

All participants in the council-funded courses take home either a compost bin or a worm farm, so they can put their new skills into practice.

North Shore City waste minimisation team leader, Bradley Nolan, says this latest initiative is exactly the type of thing the WasteWise fund is trying to encourage.

The programme was launched in 2002 and has so far invested $172,763 in citywide waste reduction projects. Around $100,000 is available this year, in four funding rounds, to local individuals, community groups, schools and businesses.

"There is a tremendous amount of good work being done by volunteers, throughout the city, and we are delighted to be able to help them to help themselves," says Mr Nolan.

Applications for the latest round of WasteWise funding close on July 29. Application forms are available by calling Actionline on 486 8600, or can be downloaded from the council's website at www.northshorecity.govt.nz

Other initiatives to have been funded by WasteWise include the Kids 4 Drama school productions, the Resene Paintwise take-back pilot scheme, and various research projects.

Anyone interested in learning more about composting or taking part in one of the regular courses, should contact Kate Jackson at the Kaipatiki Project on 482 1172.


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