Waipa’s ways to re­duce waste

Cambridge Edition - - CONVERSATIONS - EMMA JAMES

A book ex­change made out of an old tele­phone booth is just one of Waipa’s waste min­imi­sa­tion ac­tiv­i­ties.

Jeremy Suisted from Creati­vate is work­ing with coun­cils to raise aware­ness of ways to re­duce waste in the Waikato dis­trict and en­cour­age res­i­dents to make small steps to­wards liv­ing more sus­tain­ably.

The book ex­change was started by the Cam­bridge Com­mu­nity Board in 2015 and has be­come a town at­trac­tion.

Peo­ple can bring in books they no longer want and take a book they find in­ter­est­ing in re­turn.

‘‘This cuts down on un­nec­es­sary waste and en­cour­ages the shar­ing com­mu­nity,’’ Suisted said.

So far there had been no van­dal­ism to the book ex­change, e.

It was orig­i­nally a phone booth, built in the 1990s with a 1911 de­sign.

Other waste min­imi­sa­tion ac­tiv­i­ties he wanted to high­light was The Shar­ing Shed in Te Awa­mutu, which is where peo­ple can do­nate and take pro­duce, and the Wal­ton St Cafe, which aims to have no food left over by the end of the day.

He would be work­ing with Waipa Dis­trict, Waikato Dis­trict, Hamil­ton City and Waikato Re­gional coun­cils to pro­mote ways of re­duc­ing waste in the dif­fer­ent ar­eas.

‘‘We’re go­ing to be do­ing a video se­ries to show peo­ple what they can do at home and we’ll be talk­ing to the likes of Emma’s Food Bag to see what they do with their ex­cess food,’’ he said.

An­other Cam­bridge woman they’re talk­ing to is Ni­cola Turner from Main­stream Green, who turns her ex­cess food into com- post with a worm farm.

Her fam­ily has re­duced their plas­tic use by so much they rarely put rub­bish bags out for col­lec­tion.

‘‘We want to nor­malise waste min­imi­sa­tion,’’ said Suisted.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple think it’s just for hip­pies or they fo­cus on re­cy­cling, in­stead of think­ing in the be­gin­ning how they can re­duce their plas­tic in­take, in­stead of just re­cy­cling.’’

Some schools were get­ting in­volved as well.

‘‘We also vis­ited Te Kauwhata Pri­mary School and they have a com­mu­nity gar­den, and with the extra food they make worm juice,’’ said Suisted.

‘‘One third of the juice goes to the com­mu­nity house, and the rest is ac­tu­ally sold.’’

Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest at the Cam­bridge Book Ex­change.

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