ESTABLISHED in 1999, the Southland Community Wastebusters Trust has achieved most of its aims so has now closed.
Acknowledging the positive influence of the trust and its achievements, former members gathered at the closing event of the trust at the Invercargill Public Library last week.
Founding member Malcolm MacKenzie said the trust had been disbanded because it had achieved all it could as a group.
“There is now a much greater awareness [of waste and the environmental impact] among the public, which has been shown with such things as New World and Countdown reducing plastic bags…
“We wanted it [a reduction in plastic] to happen many years ago, now the public want it.”
Mr MacKenzie said the trust was established almost two decades ago because of the “lack of concern” about rubbish management by councils, including the former New River Estuary waste site, and the lack of recycling.
“Other than cardboard, there was really no recycling back then.”
A group of 32 people gathered in Winton, where people who were prepared to be part of a committee put their names forward. Some of the committee became trustees, he said.
Founding member Owen Horton said the trust’s intent was to make the Southland public aware of the problem of waste.
Asked what the trust’s greatest achievement had been, Mr Horton said the reduction in landfill.
Mr MacKenzie said to help educate the public, a weekly column had been published in a local newspaper for more than 10 years.
Looking to the future, Mr MacKenzie said he hoped the public consciousness would pressure councils [local and district] to look after the environment.
“It’s not just for us, but for future generations… we don’t want them to look back in horror at what has been done to the environment.”