“A great success within the local community,” is how Scott Simpson, Associate Minister for the Environment, described Waitākere Refuse and Recycling Centre.
On a recent visit to the centre, Mr Simpson saw first hand how the biggest and busiest waste-transfer station in the North Island strives to make the most of waste.
He was impressed with the strong community-led approach, which has created a fully integrated facility focused on resource recovery.
“It was great to visit the Waitākere Transfer Station," he said.
"It does everything from waste disposal and recycling to community education and engagement."
"Clearly the model works, as the Waitākere centre is a great success within the local community, delivering economic, environmental and social benefits."
"I look forward to watching Auckland Council and local communities work together to replicate this success, through building a network of similar resource-recovery centres across the region.”
Ian Stupple, General Manager of Auckland Council’s Waste Solutions, says the council is committed to supporting community enterprises that share its vision of zero waste.
"The Waitākere Refuse and Recycling Centre is a great example of a local community benefiting from using waste as a resource," he says.
"We’re working with McLaren Park Henderson South Community Trust to produce positive environmental and social outcomes, and enable a self-sustainable business to grow."
"It's a real gem for west Auckland and is achieving great results for local people.”
The results are impressive. Last year, Waitākere Community Recycling Centre diverted 160 tonnes of waste from landfill by repairing, repurposing or selling items through its community shop. A large portion of the proceeds were invested back into the local community to support a number of initiatives and groups.
In 2016, an average of 30 people volunteered and learnt new skills each week, amounting to 800 hours of work and a newfound purpose for many in the community.
While Aucklanders are already great recyclers, we can do more – community recycling centres are designed to do just that. With four locations across Auckland and more on the way, Auckland Council is working with communities and the recycling industry to develop a network of resource-recovery sites that will help Aucklanders to reduce, reuse and recycle.
To find out more about the Waitākere Recycling Centre and the rest of Auckland’s Resource Recovery Network, visit Make the Most of Waste.