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Students help make exhibition greener


Zuleika Henderson
17 June 2010
Five environmental science students from Southern Cross University will be putting their studies into practice this week as they provide hands-on assistance at the Primex Field Days kicking off today, Thursday June 17.

The students will be assisting the North East Waste Forum in managing waste at the primary industry trade exhibition, which is set to welcome almost 1000 exhibitors and more than 50,000 visitors this year.

Second-year Bachelor of Environmental Science student from Lennox Head, Colette Boraso, worked at the exhibition site on Wednesday and will return this Saturday.

“Our main role at the event is to improve the outcomes of waste management and to help ensure the waste management plan is implemented smoothly,” said Colette.

“Our aim will be to minimise the material being sent to landfill by implementing recycling, so before the event we will be setting up the waste stations and taking a questionnaire out to some of the exhibitors to familiarise them with basic information about bin location and recycling at the event.

“During the event we will be helping to monitor the bin stations, and afterwards there will be another questionnaire asking for input on the effectiveness of the placement of waste stations and to determine if they were used.

“I’m interested in seeing how an event of this size deals with such large volumes of waste.
Environmental management and sustainability are core subjects in the resource management degree so being involved in a large agricultural event such as Primex is important for gaining hands on experience while I am still studying.

“By communicating with the stallholders before the event we can help to ensure waste at the event is dealt with efficiently and sustainably so better outcomes can be achieved for the exhibitors and the event organisers.”

Primex organiser Bruce Wright said he was delighted that Southern Cross University students were assisting the North East Waste Forum in making Primex a Waste Wise Event as part of this year's Sustainability Program.

“I’m pleased that the students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in waste coordination and management at a large event,” said Bruce.

“I look forward to seeing a decrease in waste to landfill as a result of their efforts.”

Photo: North East Waste Forum representative Karen Rudkin (second left) and SCU sustainability officer Kirsty Howton (third from right) with students (from left) Melissa Gibbes, Colette Boraso, Lindsay Golsby-Smith, Tamara Ward and Helen Smith (high resolution image available on request.