It’s going to be easier than ever for Aucklanders to re-home their unwanted items when the Onehunga Community Recycling Centre opens later this year.
Construction on the site gets underway following a blessing by Ngaati Whanaunga, Te Ākitai Waiohua, and Ngāti Te Ata Waiohua. This facility expects to divert the equivalent of more than a quarter of a million wheelie bins of material that would otherwise be going to landfill.
Community Recycling Centres upcycle unwanted items, providing an affordable option for people who benefit from not needing to buy new things.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “When valuable materials go to landfill, it contributes to our emissions. Auckland’s Climate Plan is challenging us to move away from the disposable model into one where we re-use things and consider their disposal before they’re even made.
“Community Recycling Centres are a good example of the green economy in action.
"Aucklanders are already keeping more than 5200 tonnes out of landfill each year by dropping off items at the 9 Community Recycling Centres across the region. These CRCs have created 80 jobs and provide work opportunities and pathways to people who face barriers to employment,” shares Mayor Goff.
Moving towards a Circular Economy
Maungakiekie-Tāmaki Ward Councillor Josephine Bartley explains the value of the circular economy, saying, “When something breaks in our modern world it is often more expensive to repair than to buy a new one, so usually it goes to the landfill.
"Community Recycling Centres are providing a hub for reversing this trend and keeping materials in use for longer instead of landfilling them. The circular economy is a key part of Auckland’s goal of getting to zero waste by 2040.
"We need manufacturers design out waste and pollution, keep materials in use for longer, and make things that can be easily repaired, remanufactured, or recycled,” says Councillor Bartley.
Investment in the Resource Recovery Network
The Onehunga Community Recycling Centre received $2.24 million of funding from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund to help kickstart this development.
Community Recycling Centres are contracted to independent organisations that are selected through a sustainable procurement process. The Sustainable Business Network estimated that Auckland could be $8.8 billion better off in 2030 if it developed a circular economy.
Councillor Richard Hills celebrates this milestone in waste minimisation for the local neighbourhood. He says, “In the next 10 years, the intent is to have 21 Community Recycling Centres and 2 Resource Recovery Parks. The Recovery Budget is open for consultation now and we would love to see more Aucklanders submitting their feedback. We can expand the things that Aucklanders love and reduce our emissions by working together on the plan.”
Adrian Pettit, Te Ākitai Waiohua Kaitiaki, shares the significance of zero waste, saying, "Following on from Councillor Richard Hills’ commentary around a future circular economy, our tūpuna (ancestors) practised a finely tuned closed loop that managed the use - and indeed the reuse, of resources accordingly. Given the effort and energy required to manufacture, acquire and/or cultivate resources, we must likewise follow in their footsteps and walk a similar path."