Trudie Jones stands among a heap of rubbish dumped at the Wairarapa Resource Centre over the weekend. PHOTO/TOM TAYLOR

Rubbish behaviour riles

TOM TAYLOR
tom.taylor@age.co.nz

Soiled clothes, ripped car seats, rotting mattresses, and Easter egg wrappers: a festive frustration awaited Wairarapa Resource Centre staff after the Easter weekend.

Store manager Trudie Jones closed shop over Easter to give her staff a break. However, during that time, she had to visit the King St store on three occasions to clean up other people’s rubbish, after concerned people called to tell her that damaged, unsellable goods were blocking the sidewalk and the entrance foyer to the flat above the resource centre.

“We choose to shut so our staff can have a nice Easter, and then we come back to this rubbish,” Jones said, “It’s revolting.”

Not only was the rubbish unsightly, but it was also a hazard for tenants who were unable to get in or out of their flat. Jones said people often assumed the foyer of the flat was the entrance to the resource centre, even though she had clearly signposted the door to indicate otherwise.

The resource centre would not be able to resell most of the items dumped over the Easter break, as people had already rifled through and potentially tampered with them. Furthermore, the removal of the rubbish would cost the resource centre.

“It’s going to cost me hundreds of dollars to take this to the dump,” Jones said.

Although the resource centre aimed to keep reusable items out of the landfill, those items had to have some life left in them. Rotting furniture, for instance, had no place in the store.

Jones had only the chance to remove the rubbish yesterday, as that was the only day the centre had access to a truck, typically used to collect donations from people’s houses.

In the meantime, the rubbish had been shifted from the foyer and was piled in the resource centre’s driveway.

Jones’ family had helped her to clear the mess over the weekend.

“It just spoiled a bloody nice Easter, to be honest.”

Jones said the dumping of items had started to happen every weekend when the store was closed.

“This is sitting on the roadside, so people will think we’re a rubbish tip. It’s not a nice thing to think.”

Resource centre worker Terry Barron had spent hours tidying up the pile of rubbish over the past few days, only for looters to scatter it over the sidewalk again each night.

“People have got no respect for people today,” Barron said, “That’s what it comes down to.”

Supporters of the Wairarapa Resource Centre could donate reusable second-hand items during the store’s opening hours from 9am and 4pm.



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