Me­tal trash is fam­ily’s trea­sure

Waipa Post - - News - BY DEAN TAY­LOR

Waste not, want not. Ap­par­ently it is a say­ing first recorded in the 1770s — and derived from an­other say­ing even 200 years older.

To­wards the lat­ter part of the 20th cen­tury we started us­ing the term ‘throw-away so­ci­ety’ — driven by con­sumerism, cheaper prod­ucts and im­proved in­comes.

Now, it seems, there is a re­al­i­sa­tion this can­not con­tinue.

Waste­ful­ness is bad, land­fill is un­sus­tain­able, plas­tics are killing the oceans . . .

All the cy­clings are good — re­cy­cling, up­cy­cling, even bi­cy­cling it seems.

It used to be sim­pler — glass bot­tles were washed and re-used, gro­ceries came in brown pa­per bags, tyres were re-treaded and used again, plas­tics weren’t abun­dant enough to be an is­sue.

The is­sue with ef­fec­tive waste man­age­ment and re­cy­cling is cost — noth­ing is free or cheap any­more, or is it.

One Waipa¯ fam­ily op­er­at­ing from a base in Ki­hik­ihi is do­ing its bit to care­fully and cor­rectly re­cy­cle me­tal and as­so­ci­ated prod­ucts, and in most cases they pay you to get rid of your rub­bish.

B&M Au­tos is lo­cated at 28 Les­lie Street and has been op­er­at­ing about six years.

It was started by cou­ple Ben and Michelle Bowen, more as a side­line busi­ness.

Michelle says her hus­band is a mo­tor me­chanic, and was work­ing at his trade at the time but they were also wreck­ing cars for the scrap me­tal.

“It grew from there, sim­ply be­cause there was a need,” she says.

We be­lieve they are the only me­tal re­cy­clers in the dis­trict, and while Hamil­ton city has me­tal re­cy­cling yards, the Ki­hik­ihi busi­ness is eas­ier to ac­cess and helps our lo­cal economy.

Michelle says whereas most trans­fer sta­tions will charge to dis­pose of all waste, in­clud­ing me­tal, they al­low free white­ware drop off, which can cost $20 else­where.

They also take LPG bot­tles for free, which most trans­fer sta­tions won’t ac­cept.

Steel has the least value, so weigh­ing and pay­ing for small amounts isn’t cost ef­fec­tive, but it can still be dropped off free of charge.

Larger amounts, plus the valu­able met­als such as cop­per, alu­minium and brass are all weighed and paid for at the go­ing rate.

Al­loy wheels and dead car and truck bat­ter­ies are also worth good money.

They don’t ac­cept tele­vi­sion sets or com­puter mon­i­tors, but do take the com­puter boxes, which have re­cy­clable met­als.

Clients can bring their met­als to the yard on week­days, be­tween 9am and 4pm — or at other times by ar­range­ment.

Large loads go over the newly in­stalled weigh­bridge be­fore be­ing un­loaded and sorted for on­selling.

Michelle says their aim is to re­duce waste and be hon­est with cus­tomers.

“If the me­tal has value, we will pay for it,” she says.

And the busi­ness pro­duces very lit­tle waste — ev­ery­thing gets used.

Plus they are as green as pos­si­ble — us­ing so­lar en­ergy for most of their elec­tri­cal re­quire­ments.

While Michelle looks af­ter the yard, Ben is kept busy do­ing pick­ups — so busy they have em­ployed their daugh­ter Daryin to help.

They have three trucks to deal with dif­fer­ent sized loads and/ or ac­ces­si­bil­ity is­sues.

He vis­its farms, work­shops, busi­nesses, homes — any­where there is me­tal to col­lect.

Ben trav­els much of Waipa¯ and also into O¯ toro­hanga and Te Ku¯ iti.

A lot of his work is pick­ing up cars — which can be worth $80 to $150 to the seller.

They are al­ways on the look­out for 1990s model diesel 4WD ve­hi­cles — run­ning or not, but com­plete.

Ben says these are worth be­tween $500 to $2000 to the seller be­cause he on­sells them to an ex­porter who has a mar­ket for the ve­hi­cles in Dubai, where they are highly sought af­ter and re­turned to the road.

A num­ber of busi­nesses also have a B&M Au­tos scrap me­tal bin, and Ben pro­vides a pick-up ser­vice for those.

Any­one hav­ing a clean out can also re­quest a bin for a short term.

Me­tal re­cy­cling is also an ef­fec­tive fundraiser for groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions, and B&M Au­tos is happy to help.

■ For any in­for­ma­tion about drop­ping off or col­lec­tion, con­tact Michelle on 0275 486220, email bm­scrap­metal@gmail.com or find Ki­hik­ihi Scrap Me­tal on Face­book.

Photo / Dean Tay­lor

Fam­ily re­cy­cling team, from left: Ben, Michelle and Daryin Bowen and their fleet at their Ki­hik­ihi re­cy­cling de­pot.

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