Lifting the lid on waste

Connections Education Development Trust programme manager Kay Murray has thought of a way to...
Connections Education Development Trust programme manager Kay Murray has thought of a way to reduce the number of milk bottle tops going to landfill. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A Dunedin trust supporting disabled people is trying raise $19,000 to build a machine to reduce plastic waste and create employment.

Connections Education Development Trust provided training and employment opportunities in Dunedin for high dependency disabled people.

The trust was set up after psychiatric hospital Cherry Farm closed in the early 1990s.

Milk bottle tops could not be put in recycling bins because of processing difficulties at the recycling centre and were destined for the landfill.

Connections’ programme manager Kay Murray thought the trust could come up with a way to help the environment and provide employment at the same time.

Connections wanted to build a plastic shredder that could process tops, collected from the community, and sell the bulk shredded plastic online for people to remake the mouldable thermoplastic into recycled products, Ms Murray said.

She estimated a 1kg bag of shredded bottle tops would be worth about $9.

The trust had set up a Givealittle page to help raise the money which, as at noon yesterday, had $1600 donated.

Once the money was raised, Ms Murray hoped the shredder could be built in Dunedin as it needed to be carefully designed because of the extra safety features required for people with disabilities.

Once the shredder was operating, the plan was for it to pay for one person with a disability and a support worker.

The trust also wanted to raise enough money to cover the costs for at least six months so those doing the shredding could be paid for their work up front.

There had been good feedback from the community about the project and people willing to give bottle tops to be shredded, she said.

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