Wastebusters Alexandra communications co-ordinator Alexia Johnston may be the voice of the community recycler, but she was happy to direct the spotlight last week to Buster, the shop cat.

Buster was named best accidental social media person in the not-for-profit social media awards on Wednesday night, and Wastebusters won best social media channel.

The awards – won run by Hancock Creative – were open to all New Zealand and Australian not-for-profit organisations.

Ms Johnston said it was a surprise to win, not just one, but two awards as they were up against some great organisations.

“For the team, entering the awards wasn’t so much about winning, it was more about getting the Wastebusters name out there and having a bit of fun in the process.

“It also reaffirms what Wastebusters is about, yes, we work hard as we lead the way to zero waste, but the key is to make it a fun experience.”

A talking Buster featured in a recorded thank you speech filmed by Ms Johnston.

Buster, like Wastebusters itself, is owned by the community.

Buster, our shop cat, is loved by so many of our customers so it was only natural that she should play a part in our entry and it definitely paid off.

“She is so resilient. She survived the fire Wastebusters had back in 2015 and has also managed to get through the lockdowns.”

During the lockdowns, the community was in contact to make sure Buster was OK and Wastebusters used social media so everyone could see she was doing fine.

“That’s really when she turned her paw to social media, to help us out in Omicron times,” Ms Johnston said.

Buster’s social media presence will remain a key part of the recycler’s brand.

“By celebrating the small actions .. and the fun things, like having a wonderful community cat like Buster, we can tackle those big issues and give people a giggle at the same time.”