Zero-waste heroes wow council

JO MCKENZIE-MCLEAN
Last updated 05:00 26/06/2014

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A group of students has been hailed "zero-waste heroes" at a Central Otago District Council meeting.

Dozens of winners of a zero-waste competition from throughout the region sat on the floor in the middle of the council table at their meeting in Alexandra yesterday to receive prizes and praise.

The council, recycling provider Central Otago WasteBusters, Enviroschools Central Otago and Sustainable Living group Making a Difference for Central Otago teamed up to run a Zero-Waste Challenge open to all school-aged children in Central Otago.

Children were invited to conduct either a packaging audit or waste audit in their homes and asked to get creative and submit a presentation on what they had learned. They had to use their own choice of media to show key messages they had learned about waste, and tips for how people could reduce packaging and other waste.

Enviroschools facilitator Steve Brown said when he put the competition together he did not know what he would get back and judges had been "wowed".

"Children, in my career, never cease to surprise me. They have presented a range of powerful messages in a creative way. Judges were blown away. You are zero-waste heroes and we want you to keep going and spreading that message."

Mayor Tony Lepper said zero-waste messages spread by children had likely contributed to more people accepting upcoming rubbish collection changes.

"I always thought you kids would get it . . . we have had a bit of noise [about the upcoming changes] but not half as much if we had done it five years ago."

The winners and their entries can be found on the Central Otago District Council website.

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