Next week, Waiheke will start ushering in a new waste minimisation and resource recovery era on the island. The Waiheke Zero Waste Partnership – made up of the local Waiheke branch of AIM Services and local community organisations, Island Waste Collective (IWC) and Clean Island (CI) – will operate new waste and resource recovery services, in partnership with Auckland Council.
Auckland Council’s Waste Enterprise and Refuse Manager, Terry Coe, says, “The partnership model is an effective way to increase community ownership for waste diversion and will provide new opportunities for locals to be involved in the growth of Waiheke’s emerging circular economy.”
Keeping it local – by Waiheke, for Waiheke
The changes begin bringing to life Waiheke’s waste goals, key actions and directions set out in the Tikapa Moana Hauraki Gulf Islands Waste Plan 2018. The plan, including the establishment of a Community Resource Recovery Park (RRP), was developed through a community consultation and engagement process led by IWC, and reflects the community’s aspirations to achieve Zero Waste to landfill by 2040 and develop on-island solutions.
A regional first – Waiheke Community Resource Recovery Park
While Auckland has a flourishing network of eight Community Recycling Centres, the opening of Waiheke’s new Community RRP at the Waiheke Island Transfer Station site on Ostend Road, is a regional first. Over time, the Community RRP will provide a wide range of waste and resource recovery services designed to divert waste from landfill by leveraging the strengths of local businesses, community groups and charities, in collaboration with council.
The Waiheke Island Transfer Station will be closed to the public and all customers for three days from Tuesday 30 June to Thursday 2 July to allow for the transition to the new Community RRP. The facility will shut at close of business on Monday 29 June and re-open as Waiheke Community RRP on Friday 3 July. Roadside waste (rubbish and recycling) collection services will continue as normal during the transition period.
The resource recovery facility will be open seven days a week from 8am to 4pm. Before visiting on public holidays, check aucklandcouncil.govt.nz for details on opening hours.
Delays to completion of the Tahi Road stormwater works project will reduce the space and services initially available. Park operations will be centred around diverting waste from landfill by reusing, repurposing, upcycling, recycling, and downcycling unwanted items – turning waste into a resource.
Customers entering at Ostend Road from 3 July will notice the site layout has changed. Drop-off points for specific waste types may be different. Friendly, local staff will be there to guide you to where you need to go.
There will be separate lanes for residential and commercial customers, along with an innovative new ‘traffic light’ colour-coded system (green, amber, and red) to help recover useful materials and minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill via three new drop-off bays.
Customers will be also able to drop off quality, pre-loved items at the Community RRP which will be made available for purchase in the new reuse shop.
Terry Coe says the Community RRP is a ‘work in progress’.
“Auckland Council has secured a second site at 4-6 Tahi Road to give us space for expansion of resource recovery activities. The site will be developed gradually and be the location for a range of Community RRP services.”
More Auckland-first innovations on the way
Terry Coe says locals can look forward to further exciting innovations as part of the new resource recovery service changes.
“We know everyone is anticipating the arrival of the roadside collection service e-trucks. The vehicles were due to be on-island by 1 July, but their arrival has unfortunately been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Terry Coe. “We are hopeful that the community will see the trucks on the roads before the end of September.”
Once they arrive, it will be further progress towards achieving Waiheke Local Board’s vision of creating the world’s most liveable city at the local level while at the same time supporting the island’s low-carbon goals to address the climate emergency.
Acknowledging service providers
Terry Coe says while welcoming all the new developments, that both council and the local community owe a huge vote of thanks to the hard-working team at the Waiheke Island Transfer Station, run by Waste Management, along with the operators sub-contracted by Waste Management to run the reuse shop, New Hope.
“They are a fantastic team of dedicated local people who have worked tirelessly to provide roadside waste collection and transfer station services, as well as providing the community with opportunities to recycle and reuse the island’s resources. They deserve a shout out from across the community for a job well done. We especially wish the New Hope shop team well in their endeavours to find a new location and recognise the valuable contribution they have made to the local community.”