Re-use cen­tre to launch in Paeroa

Waihi Leader - - News -

A Paeroa re-use cen­tre is about to be de­vel­oped.

A com­mu­nity group pre­sented a busi­ness case to the District Coun­cil last month for a cen­tre to col­lect waste and re­cy­cle items, which re­ceived a thumb­sup.

No re­quest was made for fund­ing, but it was ac­knowl­edged this would most likely be nec­es­sary in fu­ture.

Paeroa Ward chair­man Paul Mil­ner says the best projects are al­ways com­mu­nity driven and this one ticks a lot of en­vi­ron­men­tal, so­cial and eco­nomic boxes.

“There was a real buzz in the Cham­ber. This is the kind of stuff we love to sup­port and the rea­son most of us put our hand up to be coun­cil­lors in the first place. There was no hes­i­ta­tion at all from any­one to put their hand up and vote yes to this.”

The pro­posed cen­tre would be sim­i­lar to the Seagull Cen­tre in Thames, a non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion that ed­u­cates and em­pow­ers the com­mu­nity to re­duce waste.

Hau­raki Re-use Group spokesper­son Alli Mitchell said the Hau­raki re-use cen­tre would be a lo­cally-owned com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and a place where peo­ple can do­nate un­wanted but us­able items to be sold and re-used.

“We’ve done a lot of re­search and vis­ited a lot of other re-use cen­tres which are self-fund­ing, so­cial en­ter­prises fo­cused on re­duc­ing waste to land­fill and teach­ing sus­tain­able life skills like com­post­ing and sewing,” she said.

Seagull Cen­tre busi­ness man­ager Rick Brown has of­fered to share the cen­tre’s busi­ness model and men­tor the Hau­raki group to get off the ground. “We’re con­fi­dent that with their [Seagull Cen­tre] plan and men­tor­ing we will build a suc­cess­ful so­cial en­ter­prise that Hau­raki can be proud of,” Alli said.

The con­cept also has the sup­port of Smart En­vi­ron­men­tal manag­ing di­rec­tor Gra­hame Chris­tian. The com­pany is con­tracted to man­age kerb­side refuse and re­cy­cling and Refuse Trans­fer Sta­tions for East­ern Waikato coun­cils, in­clud­ing Hau­raki District.

“This is some­thing we have ad­vo­cated some years ago, and we are happy to sup­port it. We have some­thing sim­i­lar with Coro­man­del In­de­pen­dent Liv­ing Trust and this is now work­ing very well,” he said.

Waihi Ward Coun­cil­lor Dun­can Smeaton, who holds Coun­cil’s solid waste port­fo­lio, said the pro­posed cen­tre would be at the Paeroa Trans­fer Sta­tion site in Grey Street be­cause of its avail­able space and cen­tral lo­ca­tion. In fu­ture it’s en­vis­aged the busi­ness plan will ex­pand to in­clude re­use cen­tres in Waihi and Nga¯tea.

He said the con­cept aligns per­fectly with the vi­sion of the East­ern Waikato Coun­cil Waste Man­age­ment and Min­imi­sa­tion Plan, which is to min­imise waste to land­fill and max­imise com­mu­nity ben­e­fit.

“There’s still a lot of work to do, but Coun­cil­lor Mil­ner and my­self will con­tinue to work with the group and pro­vide sup­port where we can. We’re im­pressed with the work they’ve put into this so far, and we’ll be glid­ing right along­side them as things take flight,” he said.

Part of the group’s busi­ness plan is to run a com­pe­ti­tion for the com­mu­nity to name the new cen­tre, so put your re­cy­cled think­ing caps on and watch this space.

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