Students from Mid-Western Region and beyond engage with Green Day theme of 2018

Green Day keynote speaker Craig Reucassel with some of the students, photo by Simone Kurtz.
Green Day keynote speaker Craig Reucassel with some of the students, photo by Simone Kurtz.

Watershed Landcare celebrated a decade of Green Day with the timely theme of the “War on Waste” for their 10th year .

Throughout 2018 the local region has seen the rollout of food and garden waste collection and Return and Earn.

This year’s Green Day keynote speaker was Craig Reucassel, presenter of the ABC TV’s War on Waste series. During his presentation he spoke with the students about how to reduce waste, how to deal with different types of waste, and asking for their ideas as well.

He said that when it comes to the introduction of the likes of Return and Earn and organic waste recycling, the children who are growing up with it now are embracing it as the norm.

“The kids have been great, they really engage with war on waste issue and they’ve been hassling a lot of their parents, which is great to see,” he said.

“I think if you can get kids educated about this kind of stuff early it’s going to be a lot better in the long term.

“Changes like Return and Earn and the organics recycling are really important, because once they come in they’re long-term change on the waste front.

“I am concerned that people might get excited about it for a year or two and then forget about it, so it’s great to see councils or governments make those changes and it means the next generation is going to grow up with it normalised.

“It’s like how most people, unless you live on a farm, are used to doing your recycling and putting it out on the kerbside – it’s become the norm.”

Craig added that while there’s no one-size-fits-all way to tackle waste across the country, he did praise the steps being taking in the local region.

“Rural areas sometimes can be more difficult to deal with certain recycling, because it’s long distances to travel and some areas outside the city don’t get kerbside pickup,” he said.

“So it can be hard, but in this area it’s positive because there’s kerbside recycling for a lot of places and there’s organics recycling which is well and truly ahead of the kerb.”

Green Day coordinator, Beth Greenfield, said that the 2018 theme was embraced by all involved in this year’s event. 

“We choose a different theme every year and the television series prompted Landcare to look into war on waste as a theme,” she said.

“And we were very lucky to be able to secure Craig and it was really quite easy to find presenters from all over the area to talk on the waste theme, there are a lot of people involved in the topic.

“There’s probably lots more that can be done but it needs to be community-driven, they need to push the message up to the council and other organisations.

“It’s very natural kids to look to recycle now and I think if we can just really push that ‘reduce’ message – reduce the amount of packaging we need and think about what we need.”

The ‘war on waste’ issue is now well and truly in the mainstream, with two seasons of the show of the same name and a Logie win this year.

As for a third season, Craig said it’s a bit of ‘wait and see’ at the moment.

“We’re looking at a third season, we want to make sure we get new stories and we’re also wondering whether we want to wait and see if some of the changes that have been promised actually happen,” he said.

“So we’re not sure when it will happen, but we’re definitely considering it.”