New Auckland recycling centre to save 1000 tonnes from landfill

Laura James
Source: 1News

A new community recycling centre in Auckland will save 1000 more tonnes of waste per year from the landfill.

The Onehunga community recycling centre will help save a further 1000 tonnes from the landfill each year.

The Onehunga site is the first to be purpose built in the city, but joins a network of centres already diverting close to 7000 tonnes from the tip annually.

Auckland Councillor Richard Hills said: "That’s the equivalent of 236 double decker buses.

"This community hub will focus on reuse, repair, repurposing, and upcycling, while reducing carbon emissions, and creating local jobs and training opportunities in the process."

The council says within the next 10 years most Aucklanders will live within a 20-minute drive of a site where they can drop off their unwanted or broken goods.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said: “When something breaks in our modern world it is often more expensive to repair than to buy a new one, and usually it goes to the landfill. We want to be part of changing this."

It's part of the city's goal to achieve Zero Waste by 2040 and create a circular economy.

The Onehunga site is the first of Auckland Council's centres to be operated by a Māori/Pasifika social enterprise.

Any profits will be invested into the wider community to achieve social and environmental benefits.

Onehunga's new community recycling centre will focus on repairing, repurposing, and upcycling items.

It'll swing into action on August 3, but was officially opened by Environment Minister David Parker on Friday.

"The new CRC was supported with $2.2 million funding from the Ministry for the Environment.

"Along with the Government’s standardisation of recycling services across the country, centres like this will be an important part of the circular economy."

In a statement, the Ministry for the Environment said: "We have continued to see new community recycling centres being driven at the local level and often in partnership with the community sector, iwi organisations and local government."

The facilities can have a variety of names, but in 2020 it was estimated there were 277 facilities broadly categorised as Resource Recovery Centres, Community Recycling Centres (CRC), or Refuse Transfer Stations.

"Of those, the Zero Waste Network currently counts close to 60 recycling and recovery centres amongst its members – and the number is increasing," the Ministry said.

Hamilton City Council has two sites that divert around 16,000 tonnes from landfill a year, including green waste.

"The Lincoln Street Refuse Transfer Station has diverted 1.5 million kilograms of material from landfill in the last three months," a spokesperson said.

It expects to recover over 6000 tonnes in the next 12 months.

"Hamilton Organic Centre, which turns green waste into compost, has received almost 10 million kilograms of material in the last 12 months," the council said.

Wellington City Council provided 1News with statistics for its Tip Shop & Recycle Centre, which is at the city's landfill.

In a year it recycles roughly 110 tonnes of e-waste, 250 tonnes pf glass, 310 tonnes pf paper and cardboard and 40 tonnes pf plastics and cans.

It says 30 tonnes of electrical items and other random treasures are sold on through the Tip Shop or on Trade Me.

"The Tip Shop strives to maximise the reuse of donated items, as it’s better to keep items in use rather than recycle them," Wellington City Council said.

"A successful trial earlier this year proved the value in testing and tagging electrical equipment for resale, a significant improvement on previous practices where items were de-plugged and sold for parts or recycled as E-waste."

Neighbouring Hutt City Council says it has basic resource recovery facilities at its Silverstream Landfill, that allow certain items to be recovered from domestic waste.

In a year it approximately diverts 2000 tonnes of green waste, 73 tonnes of appliances, and up to 200 tonnes of other household items.

Our biggest South Island city, Christchurch, has three sites where people can drop off a wide range of items for free.

Over the past three financial years there's been an average of 6,500 tonnes accepted at their recycling centres per annum.

The ministry says there's an infrastructure shortfall of up to $2.6 billion in the waste space.

On top of that, $1 billion is needed in operational funding over the next 10 years.