Recycling groups ask for support from council

Reclaimed Timber Traders manager Robert Scott fashions some wood that was headed for landfill.
Reclaimed Timber Traders manager Robert Scott fashions some wood that was headed for landfill.

Palmerston North community recycling groups are calling on the city council to team up to help recover more material from the waste stream before it ends up dumped at the Bonny Glen landfill.

The proposals were made in submissions on the council's draft waste management and minimisation plan, which aims to reduce the amount of the city's rubbish being dumped by 75 per cent.

Human Aid Focus New Zealand, trading as Reclaimed Timber Traders, said treated and untreated timber made up about 12 per cent of what was dumped, and they could rescue more of it.

"We want to get to it before it gets to the landfill," project manager Adrienne Scott told the council's planning and policy committee yesterday.

Until recently they were accepting a tonne of timber a week from Cairns Bins and had stored about $50,000 worth of reclaimed timber.

However, the operation was not sustainable without more help to pay rent and, one day, to pay the volunteers who worked there.

The council could help by setting up a recycling collection point, she said.

The Green Hub, which specialises in collecting, dismantling and recycling e-waste, joined calls for a resource recovery centre, and more teamwork.

Project managers Yvonne Marsh and Janice Feyen said the $200,000 the council had earmarked for education should be spent on action.

"We believe this money could be better spent and maximised by supporting the doing, which in turn educates people by example."

They said the council had been talking about setting up a resource recovery centre since 2003, and the community was still keen, and waiting.

The city's recycling groups were already working together, but needed the council's help in practical ways, as well as in providing a level of support that would enable them to attract money from other sources, including the government.

The Green Hub has asked the council for $20,000 to help pay its rent on its Main St premises, and $8000 for a bulb crusher to deal with the stacks of tubes and bulbs it has stored awaiting the means to safely dispose of them.

Manawatu Standard