Cel­e­brat­ing 25 YEARS IN RE­CY­CLING

The Tribune (NZ) - - SQUARE CIRCULAR -

Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil re­cently cel­e­brated 25 years in the re­cy­cling busi­ness.

Fer­gu­son Street Re­cy­cling Cen­tre first opened its doors to re­cy­cling in Palmer­ston North on 26 July 1991 and in­tro­duced kerb­side re­cy­cling the same year. On hand to cel­e­brate was one of the first Coun­cil staff mem­bers, Ray McKen­zie. Although Ray re­tired in June 2010, he has fond mem­o­ries of his years run­ning the re­cy­cling cen­tre. “The best part of the job was ed­u­cat­ing the pub­lic. Ba­si­cally, peo­ple didn’t know what to re­cy­cle and I en­joyed teach­ing them. The young ones were al­ways keen to learn and I was of­ten out speak­ing to groups.” Prior to the in­tro­duc­tion of the wheelie bins and glass crates in July 2010, the fol­low­ing items were ac­cepted at Fer­gu­son Street and the kerb­side re­cy­cling: plas­tic bot­tles (Grade 1 and 2 only), pa­per, card­board, alu­minium, steel and tin cans and glass bot­tles and jars. “All re­cy­cling needed to be sorted be­fore be­ing placed out on the kerb­side in su­per­mar­ket bags or dropped into Fer­gu­son Street,” Coun­cil’s rub­bish and re­cy­cling as­set en­gi­neer Natasha Hick­mott said. “The re­cy­cling was then pro­cessed and baled at Fer­gu­son Street. As the vol­ume of re­cy­cling to be pro­cessed grew, a new pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity was built at the Awa­puni Land­fill.” In 2007, af­ter the clo­sure of the Awa­puni Land­fill, a new pur­pose­built re­cy­cling fa­cil­ity opened to process the grow­ing re­cy­cling vol­umes. Fol­low­ing the in­tro­duc­tion of the wheelie bins and glass crates, Coun­cil ex­panded the range of items that were ac­cepted in both the kerb­side re­cy­cling and at Fer­gu­son Street. “In 2014, Fer­gu­son Street Re­cy­cling Cen­tre un­der­went a facelift, which al­lowed the re­cy­cling to be dropped off 24 hours/7 days a week for con­ve­nience,” Natasha said.

“When I started work at the re­cy­cling cen­tre we col­lected the re­cy­cled goods in four wool sacks,” Ray McKen­zie said. “I loved the friend­ships you made, and even now peo­ple call out to me on the street, “there’s the re­cy­cling man”.”

Each week at Fer­gu­son Street, ap­prox­i­mately 10 tonnes of pa­per and card­board, 3 tonnes of mixed re­cy­cling (plas­tics, tins and cans), 12 tonnes of glass and 1 tonne of E-Waste ar­rives to be re­cy­cled. “It was a great ser­vice and still is,” Ray said.

Ray vis­its the Re­cy­cling Cen­tre for its 25th an­niver­sary.

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