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Published: 2008-02-29 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is continuing its drive to minimise waste in the region with a grant to help more than 50 Waikato schools set up recycling programmes.

The council yesterday approved a $4651 grant to the Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability Trust (EERST), an organisation helping communities work towards zero waste.

The money will help to set up the trust’s Paper for Trees recycling programme in 52 schools in the Otorohanga, Waitomo and Taupo areas.

Paper for Trees helps schools introduce systems for recycling paper and cardboard instead of burning or burying it, rewarding students with native trees for their efforts.

Environment Committee chair Jane Hennebry said a waste report commissioned by Environment Waikato last year showed the amount of material going into Waikato landfills annually was not reducing and the council was working to facilitate change.

“It’s important that school children learn about the responsibility we all have to minimise waste so these ideas and behaviours become engrained from a young age,” she said.

The Paper for Trees programme is already operating in 356 North Island schools and was successfully introduced to the South Waikato last year.

The grant will be made from the council’s Enviroschools Grant Fund, which supports organisations working with schools on environmental projects.

EERST hopes to begin working with the Waikato schools this autumn.