HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 642: 14 November 2012

Kids get the lowdown on waste at the landfill

A new generation of environmental champions was sparked into action at Avarua Primary School following a visit to the Rarotonga Waste Facility on Friday.
Over 120 children spent two hours at the landfill site and recycling centre learning about how different types of waste are managed and, most importantly, how they can reduce the amount of waste their families produce at home.
Jaime Short, WATSAN Programme Coordinator, organised the visit, and said while the morning was fun-filled the kids learned some important lessons, and showed a lot of enthusiasm and intelligence around waste issues.
“We loved having all the kids up here. During the morning each group visited six different sites including the septic ponds, the rubbish baler, sorting recycling, plastics, crushing and the landfill pit itself,” said Jaime Short.
At each site the groups were given a short presentation, demonstrations of equipment and had time to ask questions of the presenters.
“We had heaps of questions from every group, and even some future recruits to work with us at the landfill and WATSAN. This is awesome, and it was great to see how much the students already knew about sorting waste, recycling and the environment,” said Jaime Short.
WATSAN hopes that the youngsters that made the visit will go on to be champions for reducing waste in their homes by encouraging families to use the four Rs – REFUSE, REUSE, REDUCE and RECYCLE.
“The message we want to get across, is that everyone, no matter what age, can do their bit to care for our beautiful environment. I think many of students were surprised to learn how much of an impact waste contamination has for the environment in Rarotonga.
“We hope the kids enjoyed visiting as much as we enjoyed hosting them,” said Jaime Short
School and community groups interested in visiting the landfill and learning more about waste management in the Cook Islands, can contact WATSAN on 22 648.

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