Group aims to cut waste with shop

OneCoast chairwoman Judy Martin and green waste specialist Andy Barratt sort out the trash to...
OneCoast chairwoman Judy Martin and green waste specialist Andy Barratt sort out the trash to find recyclable items at the Waikouaiti transfer station. PHOTO: SIMON HENDERSON
Picnic tables and gardens are probably not the first things that come to mind when thinking of the Waikouaiti transfer station.

But local community group OneCoast has plans to make visiting much more than just tossing out waste.

OneCoast chairwoman Judy Martin said the group was opening a shop at the site, which would enable more items from the transfer station to find new homes instead of ending up in landfill.

The shop will be run by volunteers and will start by opening on Sunday afternoons.

The group had one container at the site, but a second container given to the group by Port Otago arrived last month, creating more storage space.

The group planned to install a canopy between the two containers, allowing for a covered space for building material and outdoor items, Mrs Martin said.

A container given to OneCoast by Port Otago to create a recycle shop at the Waikouaiti transfer...
A container given to OneCoast by Port Otago to create a recycle shop at the Waikouaiti transfer station. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
There had been a ‘‘freecycle’’ shed at the transfer station where people were able to leave items or take items away.

But people had also brought items specifically to give to the community group.

‘‘They will donate to us things they would not want to go to landfill,’’ Mrs Martin said.

Volunteers at the transfer station would greet people when they arrived, look at the items they had brought and make recommendations about what could be diverted from landfill to be sold in the shop.

‘‘We can say ‘don’t put that in the skip — bring it here’.’’

This would mean fewer items going to landfill and could save people money.

If people had a smaller load they would pay a smaller fee for disposal of waste, Mrs Martin said.

‘‘You will lighten your load and so it is win-win.’’ .

Items would be sold for as little as a gold coin.

The main aim was to keep items out of landfill, not to make money, she said.

‘‘We will be able to take goods and let people come in and browse.’’

All sorts of items, such as board games, camping gear, books, kitchen crockery, cutlery, sporting equipment and clothing, could be sold.

At present, electrical items would be set aside until the group had a process for repairing, checking and testing them.

Green waste specialist Andy Barratt said further plans included establishing a site for community composting.

Instead of hauling large amounts of green waste to a processing centre far away, the aim was to localise the process.

‘‘You can actually handle significant amounts of green waste close to where it is generated,’’ Mr Barratt said.

Good-quality compost could be turned into a usable product for local residents.

‘‘It will be at the point that it is a good grade of compost you could then take away.’’

The group was also planning to do landscaping at the site, including planting native species, and there were ideas to use the site for education on waste management.

‘‘Eventually, we want this to be a nice place to come.

‘‘I would like to think is that in about five years you would come here and you would see some nice native plants [and] we might have some picnic tables and things like that.’’

 

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