Our people and their mahi - Darnelle Timbs
In our ongoing series profiling our people and their mahi (work), we talk to waste minimization facilitator Darnelle Timbs about supporting waste reduction in Tairāwhiti and how individuals should play their part . . .
What is your job and what does it involve?
I’m the waste minimisation facilitator. The role works towards various ways we can improve our regions’ waste and recycling performance, and encourage the community to use resources wisely and responsibly to reduce the harm to our environment. I also coordinate our regional Enviroschools programme.
What do you enjoy about the job?
I’m passionate about addressing how we can minimise our waste and impact on the environment, and I get to work on these issues all day. I was personally moved by an experience with marine pollution and I’m grateful to be working in this role as public awareness and pressure grows around waste issues.
What are the challenges of the job?
There is a multitude of very complex waste challenges that require local, national and global solutions. Since China has stopped accepting certain materials for recycling, it has globally highlighted the need to rethink how we produce and consume. It has made for a very busy year for waste minimisation issues! I work in a small team in large region so it can be a challenge fitting the competing and varied demands of this into each day.
How could the public make it easier for you to get the job done?
By understanding our individual choices matter. There is no ‘away’ when we throw something ‘away’. Everything we use and buy comes from nature and ends up somewhere. Recycling isn’t a silver bullet and so it is important to minimise what we use in the first place. And before we reduce, reuse or recycle - we can actually refuse what we don’t need in the first place.
There are great initiatives and programmes happening across Tairāwhiti that contribute to waste minimization, so I encourage the community to get involved.
How do you like to spend your time out of the council?
You’ll probably find me searching out a gig, festival or concert. I like to get to the beach as much as possible. Yoga. Making the most of being back home and close to friends and family.