Waste Education with Te Wananga o Aotearoa Students

Our Resource Recovery Therapist Georgina Kelly-Ngatoko is always on the lookout for an opportunity to share about her work with the people she meets in her everyday life. As a student of Te Wananga o Aotearoa this year, Georgina was keen to introduce her fellow students to our Recovery Room, Te Puna Oranga garden and makerspace, and to give them a chance to learn more about how to reduce waste at home.

She organised a visit to ME Family Services for them, as part of their farewell for the course, and arranged for our Waste Regeneration Facilitator Des Abrahams to run a workshop for the group of fifteen social work students. The overarching goal of the workshop was to begin a conversation about zero waste, and to show them what a clean and sustainable Māngere/Ōtāhuhu could be like.

The workshop was an introductory session, providing an overview of the history of waste production, the difference between compostable and non-compostable waste, and the harmful implications of non-recyclable waste on the environment. We highlighted the harmful effects of waste on our soil, local streams and waterways in Māngere East.
Our team discussed with the participants what we can do to reduce waste production at home, how we can help divert waste from landfill, and the benefits of composting, as a resource for growing our own fruit and vegetables at home.

The workshop concluded with a demonstration of separating different types of waste at home and work. Finally, the participants were introduced to our community vegetable garden (Te Puna Oranga). We demonstrated how we break down our food waste for composting and how that in turn regenerates the soil to grow healthy food.

At the end of the workshop, all the participants were given a variety of vegetable seedlings to add to their existing garden at home or to start a new garden. “The students were overwhelmed at the support that we have here and how easy and accessible it is for our local community”, says Georgina. “They commented on the warm, calm and friendly atmosphere of the centre and loved how we connect the children from our ECE and local school to the garden. Some are keen to start gardens at home, using recycled materials, and others would love to come and Timetrade with us in the future”.