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Don’t dump it, let us reuse it

Wairarapa Resource Centre store manager Trudie Jones shows a Masterton man where to drop off coffee capsules. PHOTO/JOHN LAZO-RON

Wairarapa Resource Centre’s plea for recycled goods
Battery recycling a first for Wairarapa

John Lazo-Ron

“Don’t dump it, let us reuse it”.

That is the plea from the Wairarapa Resource Centre who are on a mission to get residents to bring in their recyclable goods and avoid the landfill.

Two weeks ago, the Wairarapa Resource Centre [a store selling donated goods] launched a new project called the Cookie Pods. It is a community collection hub for people to “dump” hard-to-recyclable materials such as aluminium cans, mobile phones, batteries, toothbrushes, hair products, shavers, and coffee capsules.

It is an initiative birthed through innovative recycling company TerraCycle, which has become a global leader in recycling hard-to-recycle materials and has carried the project all over New Zealand and Australia.

Wairarapa Resource Centre store manager Trudie Jones said they jumped on board the programme as they were keen to keep the Masterton landfill free of recyclable goods.

“Reuse is what our philosophy is here,” Jones said.

“That is why we didn’t think twice about jumping on board of it. We’re also the only one in Wairarapa that is doing it.”

Jones said the programme had been going well so far with coffee capsules proving to be the most popular item brought in, with cell phones not that far behind.

However, she said the other items had not taken off as much which is why they were appealing to the public to start bringing them in.

“It’s gone really good so far,” she said.

“The coffee pods are huge; that’s a big one for us. We have to change that box constantly, but the rest of them not so much.

“We want all of the oral care, all of the Bic products, the hair products, all of the batteries, the cell phones, we want it all. But the problem is people don’t know it’s here.

“For us, it’s about getting people to know we are here, and the more people know, we’re confident people will regularly use it.”

Jones said recycling batteries was exciting as it had been something they planned to do for a while but never came to pass. She said it would be another first for Wairarapa as there was nowhere in the region who did it.

“We’ve been pushing for the battery one for a long time,” she said.

“We’ve outlaid, and we rang, but no one would come on board with it, so now we’ve jumped on this, and that’s the one we want.”

Although excited, she said it would come at a cost for the Wairarapa Resource Centre as they would have to take the batteries to Auckland to be recycled.

A cost Jones said they were willing to pay.

Although recycling items so they can be reused is what Wairarapa Resource Centre are all about, Jones reiterated that the project’s main objective was to keep these things away from the landfill.

“When people finish with these things, where are they going? They’re going in the dump,” she said.

“That’s the biggest reason why we are doing this, so we can keep it all of out of the landfill.

“We want people to know they can drop these items off here and not have to make their way to the dump and just leave it when they can be for a better use.”

While they asked people to bring in their items rather than take them to the dump, Wairarapa Resource Centre projects manager Jonathan Hooker said they wanted people to know they weren’t a dump themselves.

“You can bring it to us as long as it’s got a life,” he said. “We’re not a rubbish dump either, which is what happens at times here where people bring us stuff that we can’t actually recycle or reuse.

“The question you need to ask is ‘would you be happy for someone to give it to you?’ If it’s still got life in it, bring it to us, otherwise, take it to the dump.

“Most things can have a reuse, and the better we can reuse everything, the better for the community.”

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