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Waitiki Resource Recovery Park
Waitaki Resource Recovery Park
“[Intended to] optimize the amount of material diverted from landfill to beneficial uses through Community ownership of our resource streams1”.
The Waitaki Resource Recovery Park is a community-owned program that has been operating in the Waitaki District of New Zealand since 2002. This innovative program works to help divert materials that could possibly be reused or recycled away from the district’s landfills. As of 2009, the Park has diverted 2,395 tons of material, about 74% of its total volume, and has an annual turnover of over $1 million2. The Park is primarily self-funded but also relies on supportive funding from the Waitaki District Council. The Park employees 22 staff members, with an additional 10 volunteers3.
How it Works
Members of the Waitaki community are able to drop off materials such as recyclables, electrical appliances, green waste, re-saleable items and general trash during specific hours every day of the week. Materials deemed recyclable or immediately re-saleable are free of charge while all others cost between $17 and $50 per cubic meter4. These materials are then recycled, re-sold, auctioned-off or transferred to the landfill.
The Waitaki Resource Exchange
“Our goal is to create lasting networks between those with excess resources and those seeking them, extending the life of usable materials and keeping them out of the landfill5”.
The Waitaki Resource Exchange Program (WREP), which is in the extremely early stages, less than a month old, is a new program developed through the partnership of the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park (WRRP) and the Waitaki District Council in an effort to reduce the volume of industrial by-products and surplus materials dumped into the district’s landfills. The WREP, which operates out of the same location as the Waitaki Resource Recovery Park, serves as a match-making service between those who are looking to dispose of and those looking to gain resources. Such materials include bubble wrap, coffee grinds, plastic containers, roofing iron, wooden pallets and plastic wrap6.
Recent Examples of Success
A Waitaki District business was able to use the WREP website to get rid of two bales of bubble wrap that were no longer needed, providing a local college with plenty of free supplies to protect art pieces during an art auction7.