Recycle shop role praised

HELEN MURDOCH
Last updated 12:58 17/04/2014

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The Tasman District Council's proposal to close the Richmond Revive Reuse Shop, at the entry to the Richmond transfer station, is short-sighted, says Nelson Environment Centre general manager Bruce Gilkison.

Until late last year, unwanted items in good condition could be dropped off at the shop for resale.

The proposal is included in the district council's current annual plan, and the council will hear submissions from next Wednesday until May 7.

Utilities network engineer David Stephenson said the Fittal St shop had been run by the Kahurangi Employment Trust through a commercial lease with the council.

When the trust decided not to seek a renewal of the lease the council decided to review the ongoing ownership of the site. The level of public interest in the site saw the council put the proposal out to public submission through the Draft Annual Plan.

Stephenson said the long-term objective for this site was for the lease income to cover the council's costs for the land and buildings.

"Unfortunately under the past arrangements the lease payments were not covering the council's costs and therefore the site was operating at a cost to ratepayers."

"The council does not have a fixed view on whether re-use shops are the only and best way to divert re-usable items from landfill. In recent years we have seen increasing use of online auctions and social media for secondhand goods trading, and we are working on ideas in this area at the moment," Stephenson said.

Gilkinson said the proposal took a very narrow view with studies suggesting recycle centres kept goods out of landfills, created local employment, provided affordable goods, gave residents an alternative to dumping items, was environmentally positive, allowed the council to meet its waste management plan and could return a rental to the council.

"If the council decided to call for tenders to operate this shop, Nelson Environment Centre, which runs Nelson Recycling and Reuse Centre, would be interested in this. But even if we were unsuccessful with such a tender, we would still consider that continuing this operation was beneficial - for the community, the planet, the economy . . . and the council itself," he said.

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