En­cour­ag­ing re­cy­cling in high schools

The Tribune (NZ) - - ENVIRONMENT - GE­OR­GIA FOR­RESTER

A com­mit­ment to en­vi­ron­men­tal aware­ness has paid off for Palmer­ston North Girls’ High.

The school has won two $2000 stain­less steel bins in a na­tional com­pe­ti­tion that en­cour­ages the re­cy­cling of plas­tic in New Zealand high schools.

Girls’ High was one of 12 schools to win the en­vi­ron­ment­friendly bins, af­ter prov­ing it was al­ready show­ing ini­tia­tive to re­duce waste, that it gen­uinely needed the bins, and was com­mit­ted to us­ing them.

School en­vi­ron­ment club leader Kaia Costanza-Van Den Belt, 16, says the new bins will en­cour­age more stu­dents to re­cy­cle and help re­duce land­fill waste.

‘‘It’s great be­cause peo­ple will be able to re­cy­cle all their plas­tics in­stead of throw­ing them away. It’s a re­ally good step to­wards re­duc­ing the waste at our school,’’ Kaia says.

Girls’ High deputy prin­ci­pal He­len Kin­sey-Wight­man says the amount of plas­tic dumped in high schools is an is­sue that needs to be ad­dressed.

The new bins were a small step to­wards tar­get­ing a huge prob­lem, she says.

‘‘Glob­ally, I think we face a fu­ture where we will have real is­sues with get­ting rid of our rub­bish.’’

Early en­cour­age­ment of re­cy­cling habits of teenagers would in­flu­ence how they re­cy­cled in their adult life. She hopes more high schools will jump on this band­wagon.

‘‘I’d love to see all schools re­cy­cling as much as pos­si­ble – that’s what we need for our fu­ture.’’

Marty Hof­fart from com­pe­ti­tion con­venor, the En­vi­ron­men­tal Ed­u­ca­tion for Re­source Sus­tain­abil­ity Trust (EERST), says in­tro­duc­ing a way to re­cy­cle plas­tics in high schools was nec­es­sary, with plas­tic con­tain­ers from the $2 bil­lion worth of bev­er­ages con­sumed each year in New Zealand pos­ing a prob­lem.

High school stu­dents in par­tic­u­lar, Marty says ‘‘don’t do a good job in re­cy­cling bev­er­age con­tain­ers’’.

‘‘We’re hop­ing this will kick­start more re­cy­cling through­out high schools.’’ .

Judges were im­pressed with Girls’ High’s plans for the bins, which will be de­liv­ered in the first week of term three.

In­ter­est­ingly, the three win­ning en­tries from sin­gle sex col­leges were all from girls’ schools.

All the oth­ers came from coed schools.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Palmer­ston North Girls’ High School has won a cou­ple of re­cy­cling bins in a na­tional com­pe­ti­tion aimed at en­cour­ag­ing sec­ondary school stu­dents to re­cy­cle more. Mem­bers of the school’s en­vi­ron­ment club celebrate, from left, Claire John­son, 16, Grace Lock­head, 16, Han­nah Ben­nett, 17, El­speth Mack, 17, Cas­san­dra Halligan, 17, Kaia Costanza-Van Den Belt, 16, Sarah Hen­der­son, 13, and Sarah Humphrey,14.

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