Community clean-ups, a switch to using non-toxic weed-killer, more rubbish bins, a soft plastic recycling station and solar panels are all in the works at the Victory Community Centre.
A clean-up day this Saturday will also see the community out in force around the centre grounds, primary school and Railway Reserve.
Nicola Baré from the centre says it’s a common sight to find beer cans, chip pottles and pie wrappers in their car park most mornings – even a bird’s nest made out of rubbish.
“We’re aiming to see where these pockets of rubbish are, installing more bins and establishing a rewards programme to encourage people to keep the area clean,” she says.
The centre also has a Kai Shed to distribute free vegetables and bread to the community that would otherwise be thrown away.
“We collect unused food from supermarkets every day. Our aim is to teach people how re-cycle that food to make cheap and healthy meals.”
They also have an on-site community garden, worm farm and Koha Shed, which encourages people to re-use clothes and household items, instead of buying new.
This Saturday’s clean-up is part of Nelson City Council’s Te Wairepo/York Stream project, and will involve a rubbish sweep, tree planting and preparation for the upcoming Matariki.
“Victory Primary School is encouraging families to get on board, too. They are already working hard on recycling and zero waste,” says Nicola.
Trish and Charlie Goulter, from Goulter’s Vinegar, will also be donating their natural herbicide to the centre on a regular basis. It’s the first product of its kind to be approved in New Zealand, and Victory is one of the first places to use it.
Nicola says it’s an exciting time for Victory.
“We want to move forward and roll out these exciting initiatives. We’ve already had great feedback, so this is a great opportunity for the community to band together to make a difference.”
Victory’s clean-up day is on this Saturday, 16 June from 1-4pm, meeting at the centre at 2 Totara St.