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How RecycleKiwi sparked a waste management revolution at Rutherford Primary School

Rutherford Primary School students plant mandarin trees in their impressive ‘Eco Corner’.

The recent tree planting at Rutherford Primary School shows how even small actions can have a big impact.

It all started when CrestClean’s Thang Hlawnceu who cleans the school noticed there was a significant amount of waste in each classroom. Each classroom had three different rubbish bins, with no waste separation or recycling system in place at that time.

Auckland West Regional Master Franchisee Caro Wedding, says Thang was spending too much time clearing rubbish, leaving him little time to spend on critical hygiene tasks. Recognising Thang’s challenge, Caro thought RecycleKiwi resources could improve the way each classroom managed waste.

School Secretary, Michelle Kelly, acknowledges there was room for improvement.

“It was noticed by the cleaners that we had too much rubbish,” says Michelle.

“There were a lot of rubbish bags in each classroom, so Caro presented us with RecycleKiwi.”

During a morning tea break, Caro offered a RecycleKiwi presentation and pop quiz. With prizes up for grabs, staff got excited about the idea of using RecycleKiwi resources to minimise waste in each classroom.

With the help of RecycleKiwi stickers and posters, each classroom went from three rubbish bins to one. This change not only freed up Thang’s time for critical hygiene tasks, but also encouraged students to think more consciously about waste disposal.

“This does so much to improve cleaning efficiencies and gets people thinking about what to do with their waste,” says Caro.

The school used their existing Eco Warrior programme to take its waste management transformation to the next level.

Students plant mandarin trees donated by Auckland West Regional Master Franchisee, Caro Wedding.

“We have our ECO Warriors, who empty the food scrap bins and paper recycling students, who gather the paper and cardboard from the classrooms and take it to the recycling bin,” says Michelle.

“We also encourage the kids to take their rubbish home and have wrapper-free lunch boxes.”

“Each block now has a compost bin, so we encourage the kids to put their compost in there.”

When it came time to present the term’s Cleanest Classroom award, Thang chose the classroom that demonstrated the most outstanding rubbish and recycling efforts. To celebrate the dramatic waste reduction, Caro contributed $250 to the winning classroom.

The school felt it was best to put the money towards enriching their impressive Eco Corner where the kids learn to grow fruit and vegetables among other things.

Rutherford Primary School grows an extensive range of fruit and vegetables in their ‘Eco Corner’.

When Caro saw the Eco Corner, she was blown away by its size and the extent of its produce.

“They’re out on the school grounds and they’re doing amazing things like growing vegetables and showing the kids how to plant. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

It was decided that mandarin trees would make a perfect addition to the Eco Corner. Caro came to the school with two trees, ready for the kids to plant. The school’s caretaker prepared some deep holes using a hole borer, but it was up to the kids to do the planting.

“The kids really did the job. They were learning how to plant in a classroom situation,” says Caro.

With some money still left in the tree fund, Caro plans to return with some pear and plum trees next term. She was happy to contribute to such an impressive sustainability project.

 “We were delighted to be there, and we felt quite chuffed. It was a pretty cool thing to be a part of,” says Caro.


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New Zealand
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Email: service@crestclean.co.nz

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