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One man’s junk is another man’s treasure

Wairarapa Resource Centre’s David Cameron, Dylan, Errol Snoeijer, Terry Beran and Ramon Kirk have been recycling electronics. PHOTO/ELI HILL

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The Wairarapa Resource Centre is calling out for people to donate their old goods, particularly electronics, to keep its team of volunteers busy.

While the resource centre sells second-hand goods in its storefront there’s also another component to the service.

Anything that doesn’t work is sent “out back” where a team of volunteers dismantles everything from vacuums to old computers, stripping metals out of the circuit boards, and removing anything that may be of value.

“Everybody has a box of cables at home,” supervisor Ramon Kirk said. “Bring them in here, the copper gets stripped down and can be reused in something new rather than sitting in your cupboard at home.”

The centre also collects cell phones for Starship Hospital.

Stripping down the electronics doesn’t just keep materials out of the landfill, it also provides work for volunteers at the centre.

“My job is to supervise these guys, make sure they’re busy, make sure they’re on track and provide them with some structure,” Kirk said.

Among the team of seven volunteers who were working away on Tuesday was Errol Snoeijer, who had been charged with dismantling a table to get the steel from it.

“I might be able to land work through coming through here because I know people who ring up the resource centre looking for workers. It’s a bit of a stepping stone.

“It gets you out of the house, you’re not sitting at home staring at the ground being depressed, you’re out there doing something, being constructive.”

Snoeijer said the resource centre was also a good place for the community to go when they’re on tight budgets.

“Instead of having to get more in debt buying a stereo and cookware they can save some money. Even if it’s a dollar or two that dollar can mean a litre of milk for someone on a benefit.”

Resource centre co-ordinator Trudie Jones said that four of the volunteers had come from IHC’s IDEA services and two from a Pathways provider.

“We want to keep these guys occupied and give them more work. But we need more for them to take apart.

“We want people to think about dropping off things they don’t use rather than taking it to the dump.”


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