Play­cen­tre cracks down on waste

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE - By Re­becca Mauger

En­vi­ron­men­tally minded tu­moetai Play­cen­tre fam­i­lies have re­ceived recog­ni­tion for their ef­forts in waste min­imi­sa­tion.

But their ef­forts have been more than just re­cy­cling.

The play­cen­tre has im­ple­mented many changes— big and small— from us­ing a ma­te­rial towel dis­penser, to pro­vid­ing a “bug ho­tel,” to worm farm­ing to up-cy­cling ma­te­ri­als for play.

The Belle­vue play­cen­tre has been val­i­dated for their waste min­imi­sa­tion com­mit­ment with Tau­ranga City Coun­cil’s re­source­wise schools’ pro­gramme, which they have been with since 2016.

In a re­cent waste au­dit the cen­tre achieved a 92 per cent rate of di­ver­sion from land­fill.

Atyp­i­cal kinder­garten achieves 60-70 per cent di­ver­sion.

“It’s an amaz­ing achieve­ment and tes­ta­ment to the hard­work and com­mit­ment of our mem­ber fam­i­lies,” says par­ent teacher Jodie Moore.

She says it is won­der­ful to be val­i­dated for steps they have car­ried out for a long time.

There is a big em­pha­sis on wooden toys rather than plas­tic.

Jodie says they con­sider the fu­ture of new toys and any­thing brought into the cen­tre . . . where those toys may end up in years to come.

The cen­tre has a func­tion­ing worm farm, com­post bin, an oral care re­cy­cling col­lec­tion point, and a veg­etable gar­den has been es­tab­lished for years. It con­tains straw­ber­ries, beet­root, sil­ver­beet, a swan plant and flow­ers to en­cour­age bees, and there are pear, man­darin and lemon trees and pas­sion­fruit vines.

The col­lage area con­tains nat­u­ral and found re­sources and the cen­tre is glit­ter free.

They re­cy­cle old tow­els for clean­ing rags, use a ma­te­rial towel dis­penser, have a “bug ho­tel” for we¯ta¯, di­vide their waste into card­board and pa­per, re­cy­clable and waste.

Waste is kept to amin­i­mum and in­side waste bins are hosed out rather than lined with plas­tic.

Ev­ery­thing that can be reused is used, Jodie says, from cof­fee grounds for the gar­den to veg­etable scraps for the worms.

Un­named and un­claimed art­work is reused to cre­ate cards.

“For me I have been try­ing to re­duce waste at home as well.

“I think that is im­por­tant for our chil­dren to see— that this is hap­pen­ing in other places as well,” Jodie says.

tu­moetai Play­cen­tre is keep­ing gen­eral waste to an ab­so­lute min­i­mum. Pic­tured is Jodie Moore with daugh­ter Sascha Moore-Smith, 1.

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