Waste reduction efforts win Trish a Trail Blazer award

Long-time zero waste champion Trish Allen has been leading community efforts to reduce waste for nearly 30 years.

Matakana permaculture and waste minimisation guru Trish Allen has won the Trail Blazer Award at the 2019 Auckland Community Zero Waste Awards.

She was one of eight nominees in the category, which recognises an individual who “has gone above and beyond demonstrating their passion, knowledge, encouragement and empowerment for zero waste in their community”.

Trish says the award was the perfect end to a great day, as it coincided with the reopening of the Lawrie Road Refuse and Recyling Centre in Snells Beach by Mahurangi Wastebusters on July 18.

Mahurangi Wastebusters was established by Trish in 2017 to run zero waste events, run repair cafes and set up community recycling centres to divert waste from landfill and recover resources. In May, the charitable trust won a two-year contract to provide community refuse and recycling services at Council sites in Lawrie Road and at Rustybrook Road in Wellsford.

The official citation acknowledged Trish’s efforts in setting up Wastebusters as part of her long commitment to zero waste “and her passion for waste education in the community”.

It is something she has been doing for many years, since she and her late husband, Joe Polaischer, first came to Matakana and established their renowned permaculture property.

“I taught my first ‘How to Reduce your Rubbish’ course in 1991 on Rainbow Valley Farm, and I’m still at it after all these years!” she says.

Trish is also actively involved in regional and Council zero waste campaigns and projects, runs regular courses on permaculture and composting, and is co-founder of the Matakana Community Garden.

This is the second Trailblazer Award to go to a local zero waste champion in two years. In 2018, it went to Josie Jackson of Whangaripo, who set up the Zero Waste Matakana Coast Facebook page and ran a series of workshops to make reusable bags, wax wraps and other minimum waste items.

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