The Sustainable Whanganui Trust put on a bountiful lunch for friends and supporters and true to anti-waste principles any food left over went straight to Women's Refuge.

About 30 people sat down to a lunch in the Harakeke/Education Room at the Whanganui Resource Recovery Centre (WRRC) on Sunday to celebrate the trust's 10th birthday.

It was also its annual meeting, with Retaruke farmer and conservationist Dan Steele the guest speaker.

Trust members talked about its activities over 10 years, first paying tribute to those who were first on the scene - including Laurence Boomert, Jonah Marinovich, Donna Mummery, Sara Dickon and Annette Main.


Robin Williamson talked about Plastic Free Whanganui, a winner at the recent Trustpower Community Awards. Its 5000th cloth bag will be made at Whanganui Prison this week.

The trust's Zero Waste initiative works in schools to educate children.

Last year it handled waste at 20 events catering to a total of 23,000 people, and it diverted a lot of waste from landfill.

Hadi Gurton and Robin Williamson have been auditing business waste for businesses like Pacific Helmets and the Whanganui New World supermarket.

The trust's Re Use Academy stores items like jars and fabrics that people can take for a donation. Its Whanganui Environment Base is staffed by volunteers.

Times are changing. This year's Festival of Cultures on October 27 will use only compostable food containers, Gurton said, and supermarkets are looking for ways to package their bakery goods without plastic.

He favours Option C in Whanganui District Council's waste survey. He would like the new wheelie bins used to have bar codes, so that people can be charged according to the amount of waste they create.

"The waste stream is too important to leave to private industry," he said.


He'd like to see organic waste composted rather than sent to landfill, and said some councils were aiming to be zero waste by 2040.

The trust's Fruit Trees in Schools initiative has worked with 60 schools, and member Peter Watson has volunteered to prune trees that need maintenance.

Its Green Bikes project has repaired and repurposed 121 bicycles this year, and has 81 regular clients.

It also helped with the trolley derby on Vintage Weekend and the Light Up Bike Spectacle in May.

As well as all that the trust holds workshops and events - 22 in the past year.