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Anja Watling, left, and Makayla Ladbrook delivered tetra paks to the Seagull Centre on December 8. Photo: SUPPLIED

Tetra Pak recycling programme launched

Thames High School has combined a new breakfast club with a Tetra Pak recycling project to stop milk cartons from making it to landfill.
Ann Hoover, who is one of the organisers of both initiatives, said the breakfast club began serving students and staff in August after the school joined the nationwide KickStart Breakfast programme, which is a partnership between Sanitarium, Fonterra and the Ministry of Social Development.
‘It’s a great way for us to build a community spirit and it’s there for anyone if they’ve missed breakfast,” she said.
“Different groups come in and out, play music, they like to get a hot drink, some love the toast and others have a little bit of Weetbix.
“I would say some days it’s as many as 25 or 30 but it fluctuates.”
Ann said Sanitarium and Fonterra provided the long life milk and the Weetbix for free and a koha [donation] from the school community went towards the tea, coffee, milo, and bread for toast.
Ann said the breakfast club also recycled the Tetra Paks [milk cartons] that were left over from the sittings.
“One of the requirements [for the breakfast club] was that we would recycle the Tetra Paks, because there’s this amazing Waikato company called SaveBoard that has found a way to chop it up and turn it into a jib and ceiling board,” she said.
“We usually go through four [Tetra Paks] a week at least and sometimes more, and in order to recycle the Tetra Paks, they must be flattened, thoroughly washed and completely dry.”
Ann said KickStart Breakfast co-ordinator Lorren Hawkins discovered the Seagull Centre had begun recycling the Tetra Paks.
“On December 8, year nine students Makayla Ladbrook and Anja Watling went to the Seagull Centre to drop off all of the recycling, especially all of our Tetra Paks [more than 100 of them],” she said.
“Anja and Makayla have volunteered to help the breakfast club from the onset along with Lisa Barnett, Shannon Paki, and myself.”
Ann said the school was planning to establish a space in 2023 for the community to deposit Tetra Paks.
“The hope is that it will pick up and we’ve talked about how it can work to get the community as well to help with the recycling of them,” she said.
“They just have to be very clean and dry and if they’re not flattened the plastic inside condenses so they get damp and they can’t be used in the processing at SaveBoard.
“Thames High School would like to thank everyone who has supported the breakfast club and we look forward to continuing this programme next year.”
Tetra Pak collection points are also avalaible at Ngātea Service Centre, Paeroa Refuse Transfer Station, Hauraki Repair and Reuse Centre, Waihī Service Centre,​ Waihī Refuse Transfer Station.