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Out and about during National Recycling Week 2011

Spreading the word about sustainability isn’t a typical Monday-to-Friday, 9-5 job and it's been a particularly busy period for EPA Division Sustainable Communities Officer Maree Bakker.

Earlier this month Maree was papermaking at the annual Sustainable Living Tasmania Home Expo in Hobart and last Saturday she was part of the Taroona Primary School Seaside Festival. In between she coordinated and helped judge the entries for this year’s Bricolage Design Prize, which encourages entrants to develop marketable products from industrial waste and promotes the re-use and recycling of discarded materials.

And this week she will be out and about again – this time conducting activities at the annual Kids for Kids conferences in Hobart and Port Sorell.

The rash of activity is typical for this time of year, to mark National Recycling Week. Several events are organised across the state each year to spread the word about the benefits of waste minimisation and recycling.

"It is a great opportunity to create an interest in waste minimisation and to link in with other organisations that are active at this time of year," Maree said.

At the Taroona Seaside Festival, Maree conducted a hands-on activity, asking children to create baskets from marine debris.

"I find that if children can creatively interact with a material such as discarded marine rope, it is a great lead-in to a conversation about the impact of such litter on marine life. Hopefully they can carry that conversation through and it can affect their actions through their lifetime!"

"I was really impressed at the festival by local primary school students who had collected rubbish from a nearby creek and pinned it onto to a wall on full display. Some even brought in toy marine animals such as a seal and wrapped plastic and ties around the toy's neck. It showed me that the students were getting a good grasp of what happens to litter when it is thrown out and ends up in our waterways."

The EPA Division will join forces with the Education Department to host the annual AuSSI Kids for Kids Conference this week in both Hobart and Port Sorell. This event is an annual celebration of schools sustainability programs. Students are invited to share their sustainability stories, learn from other schools, participate in environmental workshops, recognise National Recycling Week and learn about opportunities to develop sustainability as a cross-curricular priority.

In December, DPIPWE will also be hosting an exhibition of selected entries to the Bricolage Design Prize in Hobart.

"We received a large number of entries for the prize, 24 in total, and it is really encouraging to see so many entrants," Maree said. "Judging took place last week and the winners will be announced on Monday 5 December at the first exhibition of selected works at the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens in Hobart."

Click here for more information about the Bricolage Design Prize