Ahoy there, 'treasure' hunters

LAND HO: Crow's Nest manager Daryl Zuppicich checks out the latest acquisition at the recycled goods store.
LAND HO: Crow's Nest manager Daryl Zuppicich checks out the latest acquisition at the recycled goods store.

Giving a 14m boat to the Crow's Nest is not as unusual as it sounds - it's the third vessel dropped off at the recycled goods store over the past decade.

Manager Daryl Zuppicich said the previous boat had been bought for use as a maimai and the one before that was a restoration job.

This latest 4m vessel was likely to remain on the store grounds as a rather large garden ornament.

"It's not seaworthy," Mr Zuppicich said.

It sits on the long grass with a nautical theme for a background. Netting depicting sails flap in the breeze on pretend masts nearby.

Over the last year the Crow's Nest has taken in 17,7345kg of stock and 17,803 customers have made a purchase.

The recycling shop is operated by the Sustainable South Canterbury Trust which is contracted to the Timaru District Council. The most interesting item dumped since the recycling store opened in 2004 was a sarcophagus, a stone coffin-like container. It was sold to someone from Oamaru.

"The most common items we get are crockery and furniture," Mr Zuppicich said.

With staff comprising three fulltime, one part-time and two casual workers, the Crow's Nest is a hive of activity. The never-ending supply of mismatched glasses are sorted along with enough bric-a-brac to furnish a castle or two.

"We try not to accept goods in the first place which are no good. We don't dump much."

Baby gear is not accepted as there are too many health and safety regulations to abide by. Safety equipment such as life jackets and helmets are also a no-no.

Electrical gear sold through the store was usually not in the best condition.

"We point out it's at the end of its life. There are no guarantees," Mr Zuppicich said.

The good quality items are put up for silent auction in the last two weeks of each month.

On occasion people have turned up desperately looking for their stuff which a dozy flatmate has dropped off without permission.

Sometimes they can be retrieved, other times it's too late as they have sold.

Prices of the items vary from 50 cents for cups and saucers to windows from $20 to $250.

No rare antiques or priceless art works have been discovered yet but that doesn't mean there hasn't been someone's junk becoming someone else's treasure, thus avoiding a landfill future.


South Canterbury