Council makes moves to spruce up dump with shops, green space and cafe

Concept A focusing on a retail and visitor experience with the opportunity for high-end retail, op shops and a cafe.
Supplied

Concept A focusing on a retail and visitor experience with the opportunity for high-end retail, op shops and a cafe.

One council is on a mission to make a dump more than just a pile of rubbish.

The New Plymouth District Council is looking to develop the Colson Rd transfer station into a Resource Recovery Facility (RRF), which could include retail shops, a cafe, education experiences and a repair workshop. 

The $1 million development is still in the design phase but would hopefully be open by the end of 2017 and help get people to shift their thinking about waste, council's waste and compliance lead Kimberley Hope said. 

"Instead of people saying I'm going to the dump, their mindset about waste will kind of shift. You don't throw it away, you find ways of re-using it."

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New Plymouth company Green Bridge who specialises in sustainable design, planting and construction has come up with the three concepts. 

Concept C - a look at big box retail options and a central environment and community park.
SUPPLIED

Concept C - a look at big box retail options and a central environment and community park.

Concept A  was "a great shopping and visitor experience", which would include an education centre, outdoor planted areas, a cafe, op-shops as well as "high-end retail", kids area and a men's shed and repair workshop. 

Concept B was focused on the flow of materials being dropped off on the site, processed and then moved to the number of retail areas. 

Concept C looked at "big box retail" options and "exposing the resource flow" with a central environment and community park where people could watch the process of resources being dropped off and moving through to the retail areas. 

Concept B focuses on a better flow of materials being dropped off and processed through to the retail areas of the site.
SUPPLIED

Concept B focuses on a better flow of materials being dropped off and processed through to the retail areas of the site.

The landscaping and green space in the design are likely to have things like "sustainable backyard" examples and spaces for the public, particularly school groups, to learn about different ways of being more sustainable when it comes to waste, Hope said. 

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Council had no preference of design at this point, because they wanted to speak with community groups who would managed the Public Good Area, before they made any final decisions, Hope said.

"It will probably be a combination of all three [designs]," she said. "It will likely start small, might be a couple of the ideas to start off with." 

The idea was to give a community group or groups the responsibility of managing the area, with council providing support and guidance where needed. Seven groups have registered their interest in the project and council would hopefully decide who they would be working with by the end of the year, Hope said. 

This is the second stage of a $6m, three-stage project, Hope said. The first stage was the $3.9m materials recovery facility (MRF) which opened in 2015 and the final stage will be getting the transfer station moved to the site before June 2019 when the Colson Rd landfill closes. 

The transfer station will then collect and sort rubbish before transporting it to the new landfill which will open near Eltham

Earlier this year the NPDC was looking at a $1.2 million fix to the odour concerns at Colson Rd. Since July 2014 there had been 18 complaints made about the smell and council had been issued two abatement notices by environmental watchdog Taranaki Regional Council. 

However because the transfer station will be an enclosed building, and the waste is unlikely to stay on site for long before it gets trucked off to Eltham, the smell would not likely be a problem, Hope said. 

"The purpose [of the project] is to divert waste from the land fill and get people changing their behaviour and thinking around waste," she said. 

"Hopefully by the end of next year we will have it open."

 - Stuff

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