Collecting waste helps environment

17:00, Jun 09 2014
Grantlea Downs School
TREE-CYCLE: Pupils involved in the Grantlea Downs School enviro team, Ella Hayley, 10, left, Reef Brazendale, 9, Kaleb Small, 10, and Summer Ruddle, 10, with a load of cardboard ready for recycling. 

Sorting out the rubbish has netted South Canterbury schools more than 300 trees.

The "green" programme Paper4Trees measured the volume of recycled paper and cardboard from schools, and then gave schools free native plants based on their paper recycling.

Paper4Trees manager Hope Lawsen said students from South Canterbury schools had recycled 88 tonnes of paper and cardboard this year.

"In weight terms, that's equivalent to 15 adult male elephants.

"Volume-wise, it's 18 shipping containers," she said.

Lawsen said recycling also helped reduce carbon emissions into the environment.


As part of the programme Grantlea Downs School has received 33 trees, the most for a school in South Canterbury.

Teacher Karen Wyatt believed the high number of trees was due to the zero waste programme the school had undertaken.

The school holds various activities including litter-free lunches.

The aim of those was for everything arriving at the school to come in lunchboxes with no wrapper waste.

Wyatt said her own beliefs at home translated to what she did at school.

The school was able to choose the plants it received and had chosen New Zealand native tussock for an area being developed.

Another of the school's zero-waste initiatives was having a student enviro team maintain standards across the school, including auditing the bins.

Wyatt said it was a good way to introduce children to recycling and looking after the environment.

Enviro team member Reef Brazendale, 9, said they separ- ate rubbish into three different bins.

Paper went into the yellow bins, plastic and dirty paper into the red bins, and green bins were filled with compost, Reef said.

Fellow student Ella Haley, 10, also on the team, said it was "pretty exciting" to get the most trees out of the whole of South Canterbury.

Other notable schools were Waimataitai Primary and Bluestone Primary, which each received 24 trees.

The Timaru Herald