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“I’m passionate about getting people to think about waste as a resource and not just something they throw away,” said Dorte Wray, Manager of the Waste Resource Trust (WRT).
The Tindall Foundation provided funding for Dorte to undertake a young social entrepreneur internship with Clean Stream Waiheke Limited (CSWL) – a charitable company owned by WRT.
CSWL ran the recycling station on Waiheke Island and other community recycling projects. In 2009, CSWL lost the refuse and recycling contract for Waiheke Island. The Tindall Foundation continued to fund the internship, seeing it as an opportunity to learn first-hand how losing a major contract can affect a community organisation.
WRT reviewed their work and considered what the community as a whole needs. They are now focusing on broader initiatives than community recycling, such as planning Waiheke Island’s inaugural Sustainability Festival in 2012.
“The internship gave me practical experience to be super-involved in all aspects of the organisation,” said Dorte. “It was a fantastic opportunity to gain intimate knowledge of how the organisation ran – learning, observing and evaluating as we went along.”
Waiheke Island’s 8,000 residents already “punch above their weight in terms of sustainability”, said Dorte. With over 750,000 visitors a year, WRT’s long-term goal is to make Waiheke a “true model” for sustainability, through programmes and setting up an Environment Centre.
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