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Thursday July 13, 2017

Open for ‘Bags in the Wild’ experience By Emma McAuliffe

Wellington’s Souther n Landfill is inviting interested locals to book a tour at its Happy Valley premises to see plastic bags ‘in the wild’. The landfill has been highlighted in recent months as struggling to keep plastic bags flying off in the wind into sur rounding native bush and waterways. The tour will take locals to the heart of the damage being done by plastic bags to the city’s natural environment. “The beautiful regenerative native bush in the surrounding valleys is littered with plastic bags some of which have been there since the 1970s,” waste operations manager Adrian Mitchell said. “This is embarrassing for us but we need people to see fi rst-hand the damage plastic bags can do.” Those on the tour would

Plastic bags litter the land at the Southern Landfill. PHOTO: Emma McAuliffe

Ready, set, trapping Clyde Quay School students have been working hard to keep Mt Victoria a safe place for birds to live. The school’s year seven and eight students have set up traps at the school and around the suburbs to catch rats, mice and hedgehogs. Students made “tracking tunnels” that helped to identify which pests lived in the area by looking at their footprints and then got advice from Wellington City Council and pest control group Wild Eyes about how these pests affect native ecosystems. “I think this is important because it’s saving the environment,” year seven student Brian Ngan said. “We are old enough to make a difference.”

A similar group, Victory over Vermin, is catching pests in the town belt and the school wanted to support their work by trapping in Mt Victoria. “I think that trapping is the lesser of two evils when you measure it against the possible extinction of our native treasures,” teacher Sandy O’Brien said. “As an Enviroschool, we think it’s really important to be looking after our planet so future generations can enjoy what we enjoy.” There are currently two traps set at school and seven in households in the community. The students hoped by doing this, many more people in Mt Victoria would be inspired to start trapping pests.

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 Tours can be booked by emailing waste.education@wcc.govt.nz or calling 04 383 4442. This is one of many activities organised by Wellington City Council over Plastic Free July. For more information on events and activities please see wcc.govt.nz/ plasticfreejuly.

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Jack Ansell-Jones with a trap. PHOTO: Supplied

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be able to see first-hand the immediate effects of soft plastic on the Wellington environment, which is home to birds such as pukeko and kereru. “ T he tou r is su it able for adults and supervised children, including school g roups a nd com mun it y groups – really anyone who wants to understand exactly what is going on and why we are taking the issue seriously,” Adrian added. “Right now we’re the ambulance at the bottom of the hill. It would be good to get something at the top.”

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Cook Strait News 13-07-17  

Cook Strait News 13-07-17

Cook Strait News 13-07-17  

Cook Strait News 13-07-17