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Humour encourages recycling at SummerTimes events

25 January 2007

The Christchurch City Council will use a touch of humour to push the recycling message at several SummerTimes public events this year.

Council Events Production Team Manager Mark Hadlow has worked with his staff to develop three recycling robots which will entertain children at the Teddy Bear’s Picnic (3 February), Paul Kelly Motor Company Classical Sparks (5 February) and ASB Starry Nights (3 March).  The robots, made out of recycling bins and recycled materials, will be located at recycling stations at the events. When children step in front of a robot this will trigger a sensor which will activate one of 50 sound effects.

“I hope there will be queues of kids at the recycling stations wanting to hear the robot burp or say something in funny voice like ‘yummy’,” says Hadlow.

Another new public events waste minimisation initiative will be the introduction of 16 “green guys”. Dressed from top to toe in green, the Linwood College students will wander through the audience asking people in a friendly, jovial way to recycle. They’ll also encourage people to put the correct materials in the plastic and glass recycling bins.

“They will be funny rather than telling people what to do and they’ll plant a really strong message about the need to put the right materials in the bins.”

Linwood College is organising the green guys to help raise funds for a trip to Twynham School in Christchurch’s Sister City Dorset, England in 2008.

“We’ll be supplying our most well behaved extrovert class clowns,”  says teacher and Sister City committee member Ian Morrison.

Last year approximately 1620kg or 27 per cent of the total volume of waste produced at the Teddy Bear's Picnic wasrecycled. The biggest problem was non-recyclable grades of plastics (3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) being put in recycle bins.

“We’re having an all out push for recycling because otherwise you are left with recyclable rubbish being left all over the place. If we are to be regarded as the garden city then we should be a leader in recycling,” says Hadlow.

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