Too good to trash
A little over a year ago, the site where Waiuku Zero Waste now operates from was known only as a place to take your trash.
Today it is also a place where you can discover new treasures, thanks to its mission to recycle, upcycle and repair goods that were originally destined to be dumped.
The people behind this operation are trailblazers - amongst the first in Auckland to open and run a community recycling centre.
Within the next 10 to twenty years the plan is to have centres like this all around Auckland, devoted to reducing waste by finding creative ways to use items that may have otherwise simply gone to landfill. It’s all part of our aspirational goal of zero waste by 2040 – every item we save from going to landfill works towards achieving this ambitious target.
Who is Waiuku Zero Waste?
Waiuku Zero Waste is a community-focused group who took on the management of a site in Waiuku, to turn it from a local transfer station to somewhere focused on making the most of waste.
Today, they employ seven people to help accept, repair, recycle and sell on items that come through its gates. Currently, around three quarters of the items people bring to the centre are being saved from landfill.
There’s also a shop, called Waiuku Junktion, where repaired, rescued and recycled items are sold. Any profits go back into developing the centre so it can continue to increase its waste minimisation efforts.
Growing knowledge and understanding
Sue Wallis, the centre’s general manager, says a year after opening, locals are embracing the idea and helping in any way they can.
“We now have people bringing items straight to us at the shop, which they believe have reuse potential but they no longer want. We also see about 150 people every weekend looking through the many items we have for sale.”