It has taken the best part of four years, but Northland Waste’s $5 million indoor resource recovery facility is now up, running and open to the public.
Warkworth Re:Sort has been developed on the former Wyatt’s Landscaping site at 183 Sandspit Road to accept a wide range of commercial and household waste for diversion and disposal.
Northland Waste managing director Ray Lambert says the huge sorting shed and yard has been designed to service Warkworth and the surrounding district for years to come, as the region rapidly develops.
The process was not without its problems, as neighbours objected to the plans and appealed against the resource consent, but extensive consultation and negotiation resulted in a mutually agreed settlement. Northland Waste has put in a fully sealed access road and built a significant buffer zone around the site, and says that as the facility is indoors, a large proportion of any noise and dust is contained. The site also incorporates number plate recognition technology, so account customers can drive straight in, and thermal image detection to minimise the risk of fire from illegally disposed of lithium-ion batteries.
“It has been a bit of a long road to get here,” Ray says. “However, we knew the Warkworth population was expanding significantly and in business development, especially in the commercial building market, it was one of the fastest-growing areas in New Zealand.”
He says since the Auckland Council-owned community refuse and recycling centre at nearby Lawrie Road does not take fill, fibre cement board or trucks over four tonnes, so there was a gap in provision.
“We’ve heard from several businesses that have found it challenging in the last two years, with no local facility capable of taking large volumes,” he says. “The local community needed a purpose-built facility with the capacity to process and handle construction, commercial and demolition waste, and recycling – this was our key driver for development.
“And being indoors also opens up the opportunity for more waste recovery, as our teams are no longer exposed to the elements. This has really allowed us to pull apart builders’ skips and divert a huge amount from landfill.”
Re:Sort is open daily to the general public as well as commercial customers, with general and green waste charged by weight using the yard’s new automatic weighbridge. Ray says Northland Waste prefers to charge by weight rather than volume because it is less subjective when it comes to oddly shaped objects. However, there is no charge for dropping off 1, 2 and 5 plastics, domestic and restaurant glass (though it has to be separated by colour), cardboard, steel, tin, aluminum and whiteware.
There is also a bonus for boaties: Re:Sort will weigh your boat for you, for a small charge.
Any items brought in that are still in usable condition are being donated to Hospice, building on Northland Waste’s established relationship with the organisation, whereby it donates 10 cents to hospice for each orange rubbish bag sold.
“Instead of setting up a shop on site and competing with local charities who are already established, we wanted to help them out by donating all the reusable items we receive to the hospice shop in town, so they can sell them through the shop and retain the revenue.”