EnviroWaste South Canterbury's new sustainability duo

Responding to the growing demand for local sustainability solutions, EnviroWaste’s new education programme is empowering people in South Canterbury to make greener choices and raising awareness of the importance of recycling and resource recovery.

Sustainability champions Deepa Goswami and Danielle Schäche work with local groups in South Canterbury to support the region’s waste minimisation goals, providing practical guidance to enable residents and businesses to waste less and recycle more. Their role is to help people look at resources and waste in a different way. 

The new initiative is a collective community effort, says Deepa. Backed by the region’s councils, it supports local government’s Together Reducing Waste message.

“It is a brilliant opportunity to work alongside my teammate, Danielle, to create awareness about recycling and minimizing waste and saving resources from landfill. We work with communities, schools and businesses in Timaru, Waimate and Mackenzie District Councils of South Canterbury. We’re working towards a sustainable world where there is a growing consensus about depleting resources and an awakening towards their recovery.”

The Timaru-based team share a teaching background: Danielle previously worked as an early childhood educator, while Deepa was a high school science teacher. 

“Education plays an important role in protecting our planet to ensure we create a better future,” says Danielle. “I am excited to spread awareness of sustainable practices within the community, so together we can be proactive in the fight against wastefulness. I am especially excited to have a chance to bring this knowledge into education services, with the hope of fostering environmental mindfulness with our next generation,” she says. 

Tackling New Zealand’s organic waste problem is a big focus for Deepa, who is researching how to shift food wastage behaviours for her doctoral studies. “I started teaching science in 1995 and was an ardent environmentalist at work. But I felt my passion and message was being lost in the rigmarole of tests, grades and the pressures of teaching. Three and a half years ago, I grabbed the opportunity to pursue my PhD. That proved to be a major transition and I ended up getting drawn into the much bigger issue of the amount of waste generated by this country.”  

Her new role means she can continue to support people’s learning journeys while providing encouragement and advice on steps everyone can take to reduce their environmental impact. 

For those ready to make a greener choice for the planet but who are not sure where to start. Deepa recommends three things they can do right now that will make a positive impact:

  1. Give your food scraps a new life by using a compost system, worm farm, or bokashi bin at home
  2. Ensure you clean your recycling before putting it into your bin, dirty items contaminate the rest of the recyclables
  3. Be a conscious consumer: only buy what you need

EnviroWaste education team10

Picture caption. Left to right: Danielle Schäche and Deepa Goswami, EnviroWaste waste minimisation and education advisors.