New waste recovery centre on way

Trust chairman says Whitianga project a ‘win-win for everyone' as volunteers sought to make it happen




Local News

Anew waste recovery centre is coming to Whitianga, and the trust responsible needs community volunteers to make it happen. According to the Mercury Bay Recovery Centre Trust, the Mercury Bay Recovery Centre has received $250,000 from the Government’s Waste Minimisation Fund for the “infrastructure, plant, and equipment” needed for its development. The trust said the centre was designed to “reduce the volume of reusable and recyclable products sent to landfill whilst providing local jobs and affordable goods to the community”. “The trustees will also continue to drive waste-awareness and minimisation initiatives in the community.” The centre will be built at a site on Moewai Road and has already established a working relationship with the Thames Seagull Centre and the Thames-coromandel District Council. The trust is now seeking volunteers to work with them in making the centre a reality. Those interested in volunteering can email or go to the trust’s Facebook page. Trust chairman Len Salt told the HC Post in June he was “thrilled to bits” the project has been funded. “Construction has already started, we’ve got the design and plan layouts being worked on by [the] council.” He said the centre was expected to “take at least 2000 tonnes a year of building and construction waste out of landfill”. He hoped to create jobs for local people — the Thames recovery centre employs 15 people. Salt said he had worked closely with the council and the Mercury Bay Community Board to create the centre. “It’s a collaborative thing — we’ve all got to work together.” He said any profits the centre made would be put back into the community. “It’s a win-win for everyone.” Thames-coromandel District Council’s infrastructure manager Mo Imtiaz told the HC Post the council is “providing the land and utility infrastructure at the new RTS [Refuse Transfer Station] that is required for the resource recovery centre to be built. “The resource recovery centre will be constructed and operated by [the trust] at their cost. Although this proposed resource recovery facility is located within the new council RTS site, it will be owned and operated by [the trust].” Imtiaz said there will be a “drop-off zone at the resource recovery centre for customers to pull into, before the RTS weighbridge”. “The resource recovery centre staff will be looking to extract any items that could be repurposed or sold, instead of it going into the rubbish pit. “This will save people refuse tipping fees plus it’s a great way to divert re-usable material from landfill. A win-win. The resource recovery centre will also accept construction and demolition material.” Imtiaz said the new centre will have a shop selling usable items that would otherwise have gone to landfill, similar to the Thames Seagull Centre and the Coromandel Town Goldmine. “This feature . . . is an opportunity for both volunteers and for paid employment.” A spokesperson for the Ministry of Environment said the centre was selected for funding because “it enables public and private construction and demolition materials resource recovery services and infrastructure”. “The funding for MBRRC is towards establishing infrastructure in the eastern part of the Coromandel Peninsula for the reuse of construction and demolition waste and the diversion of waste from landfill. In addition to the environmental benefits . . . it will provide economic benefit by creating new jobs and providing new skills and knowledge, which will also potentially lead to new career paths such as management and specialist roles.”