A flourishing West Auckland social enterprise that stops waste going to landfill and upskills unemployed locals is partnering with Auckland Council for a further five years.
Since starting up in 2015 with one staff member, the Waitakere Community Recycling Centre at the Waitakere Transfer Station in Henderson, has diverted tonnes of reusable materials from landfill and now employs seven full-time staff.
Focus on employment and upskilling
In 2016, the shop sold more than 1500 tools, 455 bikes, 330 lawnmowers and 223 TVs, as well as a variety of other goods.
In two years, the social enterprise has gone from one to seven full time staff. What’s more an average of 30 people volunteered each week, amounting to 800 hours of work.
“We have a lot of social and environmental objectives but we are also focused on employing people, upskilling them and offering them valuable work,” says project leader Jon Morgan, known locally as Green Jon.
Investing in the community
The centre invests a large portion of the proceeds back into the community, supporting a number of initiatives and groups.
“Our hope is that the shop can create further profit to invest into other vital projects, particularly for youth and elderly people, which are currently underfunded,” explains Jon.
Cllr Penny Hulse, Chair of the Environment and Community Committee, is delighted with the success of the project.
“Preserving the environment and investing in our community are key priorities for the council. It is fantastic to see this worthwhile project going from strength to strength and, as someone who uses the shop on a regular basis, it’s great to be able give a new lease of life to other people’s waste.”
Find out more
Over the next five years, Auckland Council expects the amount of diverted waste to rise as the centre extends its reach within the community.
To find out more information about the Waitakere Recycling Centre and the rest of the Resource Recovery Network, visit Make the Most of Waste.