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Clean Schools Challenge Winner Announced

Competing To Be Green: Clean Schools Challenge Winner Announced

The judges' verdict is in on the Reduce Your Rubbish Clean Schools Challenge that ran as part of this year's Clean Up New Zealand Week (15--21 September), with the winning school being Maramarua School in the Waikato region.

Schools that registered in this unique inaugural competition answered the call to reduce their rubbish through a range of interesting clean up initiatives, including setting up worm farms and holding recycled fashion shows, with the aim of achieving 'zero waste'.

Clean Up New Zealand Project Manager Juliet Malins says, out of 156 schools incorporating over 40,000 students that entered the competition, Maramarua School stood out as the winner amongst a very high standard of entries.

"While there were many highly--commended entrants, Maramarua School won overall because theirs was a school--wide and integrated effort involving the local community, and they met all the judging criteria," says Ms Malins.

The school undertook a variety of initiatives to develop a complete "environmental education area". Building on existing environmental initiatives and coordinating them into a central area -- they fundraised by selling worm tea from their worm farm, upgraded their compost heap and, with community help, they built four large vegetable gardens.

Maramarua School was not only leading the clean up effort by example, they were also competing for $4,000 cash towards an environmental initiative in their school.

Using their prize money, the school's established "Green Team" will be able to continue their initiatives, including many recycling efforts, as they work towards their Bronze Award status as an Enviroschool.

Organised and run by the Clean Up New Zealand Trust, the challenge also awarded a spot prize of $1,000 to Tokomaru School in the Manawatu for their original presentation on recycling, reducing and reusing, which represented all the children's work.

"The work of the young kids was fantastic and we hope they continue what they started. It was also great to see senior schools get involved, including highly commended Heretaunga College in Upper Hutt where 700 students worked on the philosophy that changing attitudes was the first step to a clean country," says Ms Malins.

Ms Malins says it's wonderful that children are so proactive in making New Zealand clean and green, and this year they provided an inspiration for clubs, businesses and families throughout New Zealand to get involved in Clean Up New Zealand Week.

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