Celebrating 25 YEARS IN RECYCLING
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.