Eden and some of Dargaville Intermediate’s anti-rubbish crusading environmental students scour the riverside gardens for waste

Kids clean-up in enviro challenge

by Andy Bryenton

Dargaville Intermediate School’s environmental class have ‘taken the pulse’ of the litter situation in Dargaville, a side effect of students volunteering to clean up local green spaces for GJ Gardener Homes Clean Up Week.

The national ‘keep your country beautiful’ themed week, which is an annual call to arms for those battling pollution, litter and trash was a perfect fit for young year seven and eight students at Dargaville Intermediate, who took to the parks and streets on Wednesday, September 11 to tackle garbage and put it in its place.

They were joined (in rubber gloves and with paper sacks) by deputy principal Diane Papworth, and Northland EnviroSchools facilitator, Eden Hakaraia, who works alongside two other specialist environmental education professionals under the auspices of the Northland Regional Council.

“Dargaville Intermediate is a green-gold school, meaning that every part of their curriculum carries an environmental message,” Eden explains. Under the EnviroSchools umbrella, we have many positive guiding principles, of which one is cleaner communities. These kids have volunteered to help in a practical sense today.”

In line with changing attitudes, the students agree that collecting recyclables and trash is not a punishment or a chore anymore — it’s all about helping the planet. The verdict for Dargaville? Only a small amount of waste glass, plastic, cigarette butts and food wrappers were found in a sweep of our green spaces, which is good. However, the kids point out — it should be zero.

Their message is to buy carefully for less packaging, recycle all you can, and make sure the rest goes in the bin.