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The programme, set up by the Environmental Education for Resource Sustainability Trust (EERST) in 2001, rewards participating schools with a native plant for every 2 cubic metres of paper or cardboard they recycle.
"The kids have really got into it," teacher Ann Conder said.
Every class in the school has a recycling bin which gets emptied into wool sacks in the school shed. Once the sacks are full caretaker Dave Gillions takes them to WasteBusters.
She said next year, once the trees had grown a bit, they would be planted in the school garden and the children would look after them.
Paper4trees programme manager Cayley Manson said "Otago schools and preschools have welcomed the Paper4trees programme with open arms and have really made an effort to either start recycling their paper and cardboard or improve current recycling systems".
Otago schools involved in the programme
• Central Otago district: 16 schools and preschools, most joined in February 2010, have earned 108 native plants for recycling 27 tonnes of paper and cardboard.
• Clutha district: 23 schools and preschools, most joined in March 2010, have earned 111 native plants for recycling 28 tonnes of paper and cardboard.
• Dunedin: 161 schools and preschools joined between August 2010 and February 2011 and have earned 609 native plants.
• Queenstown Lakes district: 15 schools and preschools joined between July 2008 and November 2011 and have received 141 native plants for recycling 35 tonnes of paper and cardboard.
• Waitaki district: 31 schools and preschools, most joined in 2010, received 228 native plants for recycling 57 tonnes of paper and cardboard.