Trish thrives in Matakana 70 km north east of Auckland, New Zealand. She has developed a passion for the permaculture principle – Produce No Waste! With Trish’s leadership Mahurangi Wastebusters actively reduces damage to the environment. In this short video she explains how recycling reduces the environmental damage by reducing the demand for manufacturing, mining and transportation of goods. By leading the change, Trish is forging a circular economy.
Dumping Waste Worsens Climate Change
Waste is a huge contributor to climate change and reducing waste is a passion of Trish Allen. About six years ago she set up a Community Trust a non-profit organization. It is called Mahurangi Wastebusters to do waste education and provide waste sorting services at events. Because events create so much waste.
The Trust grew and became really popular. So, then when the opportunity came up to tender for two Council owned transfer stations they put a tender and got it! Now they run two community recycling centres. And they have converted them from transfer stations (where people used to dump their rubbish for landfill) into processing stations.
They now have 28 different waste streams. And a shop where we sell second-hand items. They send items for ethical processing. For example all the E-Waste goes down to a place in Auckland called Abilities which is an organization that employs about 200 people with disabilities. At Abilities, the employees ethically dismantle everything. So the components can go for proper processing. There are also projects in Waiuku in the Waikato processing plastic bags to make fence posts. This project is called Future Posts.
Mahurangi Wastebusters is also a drop-off point for plastic bags and Silage wrap which goes off to be made into a kind of a plywood. And they are a drop-off point for Tetra pack which goes off to be made into another kind of building material called Save Board.
Trish is very excited by the progress. “And now I’ve got a couple of wonderful young women working with me and one is going into Early Childhood centres to do waste audits for them. She installs worm bins, compost bins and also educates the children with stories and a little kiwi puppet. She teaches them about waste. And not making waste and not wasting things.
Also, I’ve got another young woman who’s doing well organising repair cafes. This is another kind of social permaculture that involves children and adults. It’s teaching people about waste and how not to do it, how to not just reduce waste but going back to a basic principle of permaculture – Produce no waste!
Generating a Circular Economy
“As we know the major environmental impact happens when you extract the resources out of the earth. So the longer we can keep them in in in our system in the circular economy the better!”
Trish has also organised a screening of the film ‘For the Blue’. It is a film made by young New Zealand surfers and tackles issues around plastic in our oceans. And what we can do about it. The film will be screened at the Matakana Cinema on 5 April and 6pm. Then viewers are invited to actively participate in teams with real-life solutions. These activites include:
– join a town clean up in Wellsford
– join a beach cleanup at Goat Island
– pledge to only use a reusable coffee cup for a month ( no single use cups)
– pledge to only use a reusable water bottle for a month (no plastic bottles)
And Trish is co-teaching in New Zealand a 2 week PDC in April 2023.
Thank you for being part of a better future for all.