Maitland City Council has furnished its fleet of waste trucks with a collection of colourful cartoon characters, designed and submitted by creative local schoolchildren, in a bid to reinforce responsibilities around recycling and reuse practices.
The characters – dubbed ‘Waste Heroes’ – form the basis of Council’s new waste education campaign to champion responsible waste practices.
The nine winning designs emerged from a pool of more than 100+ entries, before being splashed across Council’s collection trucks, which routinely empty 7,000 waste bins every day.
Council Manager Environment and Sustainability, Catherine Pepper said Council was committed to working with the community to reduce, reuse and recycle everyday household waste.
“Our Waste Heroes are now tasked with inspiring residents – young and old – to be the change they want to see when it comes to everyday waste avoidance, reusing and recycling,” she said.
“Each character comes with inspiring ideas on how we can follow their lead, change our habits and work to reduce waste.
“From woodland elves and sausage dogs to robots and cardboard box monsters, the characters are an eclectic bunch that bring a dash of fun and personality to our trucks.
“It’s been really great to see them spring from the page and into life.”
Raworth resident Rebecca Dawson – whose seven year old son Blake submitted a winning entry – said the initiative held sentimental meaning for their family.
“Our dog Rocko passed away the day the competition opened,” Ms Dawson said.
“He was a good dog that was taken too soon, but here he is on the truck. Rocko was a bit of a rubbish guts and would go through our trash, so this is a great way to memorialise him.
“I’m super proud of him [Blake].”
Aberglasslyn resident Elise Banister’s three children – James (9) and twin girls Lilly and Charlotte (7) – conceived of their character, recycling robot Beep Beep, one rainy afternoon.
“They’ve learned a lot about Council as a result and it’s a great example of getting kids engaged with recycling,” Ms Banister said.
Meanwhile, the Banister kids said it felt ‘awesome’ and ‘amazing’ to see their design emblazoned on the side of one of Council’s waste trucks.