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Published: 2003-10-31 00:00:00

Environment Waikato has granted $16,500 from its Environmental Initiatives Fund to Raglan’s X-treme Waste project for a community education programme and training facility.

The community enterprise, which manages solid waste, aims to reduce the volume of Raglan’s waste stream disposed to landfill by 75 percent, provide a community-based waste management service and create employment. It intends to use the grant to support its education programme and upgrade its training facility.

The project is used as a model for other communities. Its education programme is now in its fourth year and aims to change how the community handles waste. Projects include working with community radio, the local weekly newspaper, Enviroschools, a website and organising fun events such as recycled trolley and raft races and wearable arts.

The website, www.xtremewaste.org.nz, would be a major tool in maintaining networks with the community, national organisations and agencies. It was hoped the website would be used by other groups to start their own organisations.

Xtreme Waste now employs 23 part time local people. The organisation is renovating a small building – which was provided cheaply by a builder and transported to the site by a local supporter - to develop into an education and training facility.

The centre also hosts many people, organisations and agencies who visit the centre to discuss how to set up their own waste management operations.