Helensville Community Recycling Centre to stay as council overturns sale decision video

Danielle Clent/ Stuff.co.nz

Site manager Treena Gowthorpe explains how the Helensville Community Recycle Centre works.

A council decision to sell a 10,500 square metre site in Helensville has been overturned.

Auckland Council's development agency Panuku was granted permission to subdivide 31-35 Mill Rd, Helensville and sell number 35 in June of 2015.

But a decision made by the Finance and Performance Committee on August 15 has seen the decision reversed.

Helensville Community Recycling Centre site manager Treena Gowthorpe with 91-year-old volunteer Ken Purchase.
DANIELLE CLENT/STUFF

Helensville Community Recycling Centre site manager Treena Gowthorpe with 91-year-old volunteer Ken Purchase.

Panuku would now sell number 31 and keep 35, home of the Helensville Community Recycling Centre.

Site manager Treena Gowthorpe said she was grateful the centre could stay at the site.

READ MORE:
*Community gets in behind Helensville recycling centre

All of these items at the Helensville Recycling Centre are recycled instead of being turned into landfill.
DANIELLE CLENT/STUFF

All of these items at the Helensville Recycling Centre are recycled instead of being turned into landfill.

It had previously operated from the 5,500sqm site at 31 Mill Rd until asbestos was found and the site was shut down.

The recycling centre expanded as a result, and Gowthorpe said they would no longer fit at the old site.

"The best solution was for us to stay here and it was really neat that Panuku then turned around and stood along Auckland Council and said 'we actually agree'," Gowthorpe said.

Helensville Community Recycling Centre's recycling shop manager Kylie Donaldson.
DANIELLE CLENT/STUFF

Helensville Community Recycling Centre's recycling shop manager Kylie Donaldson.

"I understand that it's quite historical for a resolution to be overturned. It is very unusual in Auckland Council."

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The committee's report said the decision was made as the centre had "exceeded expectations" and the additional land would help it continue to grow its operations.

"The catchment area of the Helensville resource recovery centre has been identified as a high growth area, and it is anticipated that demand will increase as a result," it said. 

The electronic waste area at the Helensville Community Recycling Centre.
DANIELLE CLENT/STUFF

The electronic waste area at the Helensville Community Recycling Centre.

Gowthorpe said the centre was diverting more than 70 per cent of material from the landfill to reuse or be recycled.

Although relieved that the site was staying, Gowthorpe said she felt "quite sad" number 31 would be sold.

She said the centre had grown so much in two years, another site would be needed by the end of five.

Rodney Local Board member Brenda Steele advocated for the site at 35 Mill Rd to be kept for the recycling centre.
SUPPLIED

Rodney Local Board member Brenda Steele advocated for the site at 35 Mill Rd to be kept for the recycling centre.

The current focus was celebrating the land that would stay, and coming up with ideas to stop the sale of 31, Gowthorpe said.

The Rodney Local Board was supportive of council retaining 35 Mill Rd for the recycling centre.

Board member Brenda Steele said it had advocated for both sites to be kept, but she was happy with the outcome.

The contents of the yellow, red and blue bins at the centre are the only things that become landfill, the rest is recycled.
DANIELLE CLENT/STUFF

The contents of the yellow, red and blue bins at the centre are the only things that become landfill, the rest is recycled.

"Any win is a good win in Auckland Council," she said.

 - Stuff

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