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This morning the Robotics Team spent a morning at Zero Waste Zone which is the Auckland City Council waste collection centre at The Concourse in Henderson.  The Education Centre had an open day, for the public to bring awareness of recycling, its importance and the goals of the City Council in the next twenty years.  The goal is by 2040 Auckland will have zero waste.  

Our robotics students were interested because Recycling is the theme of their project and all the missions for the Robotics challenge are based on this theme.  As part of the project they have to show that they have researched the topic and have spoken to experts in this field.  Mallika the education officer spoke to us at length about the types of plastics and how each one is recycled.  We learnt many are packaged and sent off off-shore to Malaysia, Thailand and Australia for processing because New Zealand does not have the volumes of waste to make for economic processing.  Plastic supermarket bags are sent to Australia where they are processed with a mixture of glue to make building materials while tetra packs are sent to Thailand to be made into roofing materials.   We learnt that 40% of waste that is sent to landfills is food waste and this is extremely toxic.  In New Zealand each person each year produces 1 tonne of waste that goes into landfills.

Outside the grounds displayed a range of items that had been made from recycled materials.  In the classroom we saw seating, the table, decorated wall panels and bags that had been made out of recycled items.  The group enjoyed pedalling an exercycle that operated a pump to pump water for a water sculpture and they pushed each other on chairs made from shopping trolleys.  Fence railings were made from golf clubs and crutches.  We visited the shop where they sold items that people no longer wanted.  

We left feeling richer in the ways we can help the environment and with a wealth of knowledge for our project.