22 Jan 2019

Touch wood - turning winter fuel into summer art

6:53 pm on 22 January 2019

South Waikato residents are being encouraged to take advantage of the summer weather and start stacking firewood for the winter months.

Pile of firewood in Austria

Photo: 123RF

To give them an extra incentive to gather firewood early the Waikato Regional Council is running a creative wood stacking competition.

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Photo: 123RF

Those taking part must live or own property in the Tokoroa area. They can upload one or more photos of their creative stack to the comments section of a post about the competition on the regional council's Facebook page.

The winners will be determined by public vote - the highest number of likes, hearts and other emoticons - for a collective prize pack of $600 worth of firewood vouchers.

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Similar competitions have been held in other parts of the world. Photo: Jaak Nilson / Google Images

The council's education team leader Amy Satterfield said while the competition was designed as a bit of fun, there was a serious message behind it.

"Tokoroa is one of the areas in Waikato where the air can become so dirty in winter it's a risk to health and wellbeing."

Home heating, especially the use of old wood burners and wet wood, is the main cause of PM10 pollution. The resulting fine particles are small enough to get into a person's lungs and can cause serious health problems, especially for young children, the elderly and asthmatics.