Guides’ can-do attitude a winner

Picton Girl Guides help recycle thousands of cans every year. Photo: Supplied.

Come wind, rain and shine, a devoted group of girl guides take care of can recycling.

Picton Girl Guides work hard to run three aluminium can recycling banks in the community.

And their work has won them a top five place in a national competition.

The team’s work has seen them make the finals of the Mitre 10 Helping Hands awards where they hope to win some help to replace their run-down storage compound.

While voting has now closed, the girls are keeping their fingers crossed they win enough votes to make their reno dream come true.

Picton Girl Guide leader Helen Ashworth says the project means a lot to the girls.

“Community service is an important part of modern guiding and has been at the very core of guiding since it started over 100 years ago.

“We have great fun doing this project. Dressing up in our gloves and gumboots to jump on the cans to crush them before storage and dragging the storage bags to the trucks.

“Girls in Guiding from 5 to 18 years old are involved and it develops great teamwork and camaraderie.”

They began work three years ago and look after aluminium can recycling at Waikawa, Picton Marina and one on Kent Street.

Using council recycling bins to scoop out the empties before putting them into old wool bags the girls then cart them off to the storage compound.

But wear and tear mean it’s not as safe as it once was.

“Our girls are growing up in a different world with many environmental pressures.

“Every aluminium can that we can stop going to landfill, and recycle for reuse, is helping our environment and the group loves that.

“It’s also a real adventure for them, they wear their uniform and gum boots and have fun,” says Helen, who the girls know as HJ.

Alongside second Girl Guide Leader John Welch, the team set aside time each term to empty the well-used bins, collecting tens of thousands of cans a year.

The guides get paid for the recycling can when they are collected commercially, and the money is ploughed back into the initiative.

“We are doing this for our community to keep Picton beautiful,” says Helen.

Picton Guides meet on Mondays 6-8pm at St Joseph’s School. Call HJ on 0211 700401.

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