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The trust reported a $20,323 loss in the 2011-12 financial year - its latest report - based on income of $494,058 and expenses of $791,295, compared to a profit of $51,296 in the previous financial year.
But trust chairman Neville Langrish said the organisation, which runs the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park in Chelmer St and other community projects, was in a sound financial position.
Trust manager Marian Shore outlined the result to the council's committee of the whole meeting earlier this month and said the loss was due to various factors, but at the same time had been reduced by reducing expenses.
Affecting the result was low commodity prices for recycleables, reducing its reliance on grants and the loss to national organisations of some clients, which the trust was trying to get back.
For example, the trust received $220,000 a year from the council for services provided but had voluntarily reduced that. Grants and income were down $54,528.
Mr Langrish said the trust was aware that there was still considerable resource going into the Oamaru landfill that could be recycled.
In the 2011-12 financial year, the trust had diverted 2467 tonnes of material from the landfill through its recycling operations.
''The challenge for management and trustees is to educate both individuals and businesses of the benefits of recycling and cost saving they can achieve.''
Mr Langrish acknowledged that would not be easy, but the trust was determined to strengthen its business.
In addition to providing the resource recovery park, the trust had also implemented community programmes, including assisting at-risk people, which had won the praise of groups and organisations in Oamaru.