Local politicians, supporters from the community and business, joined Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste for the official opening of the Whangaparaoa community recycling centre. Everything, from the sign to the ‘ribbon’ at the official opening of the Whangaparaoa Community Recycling Centre was an example of recycling in action.
With its new accessway and layout complete, the Community Recycling Centre on Whangaparaoa Road held an Opening Day event on July 28.
The event was attended by supporters and sponsors, including representatives of local businesses, Cr Wayne Walker, Hibiscus & Bays local board chair Julia Parfitt and members Chris Bettany and Mike Williamson, along with Auckland Council staff.
It included the unveiling of a sign and a ceremonial ribbon cutting – both of which were given an environmentally friendly twist.
Instead of the traditional ribbon, which is normally cut and then thrown away, the team that runs the Recycling Centre used recycled car seatbelts, which were simply unbuckled by Julia Parfitt. These straps were then reused to support the structure of the bins for recycling plastics.
The colourful Recycle sign was a collaborative effort, made as a way of reusing fabric and materials supplied by local companies including Clippers Outdoor Furniture, Coastal Marine and Taylor-Built.
Management of the Council-owned centre was transferred in April to a Trust, Hibiscus Coast Zero Waste, under a year-long trial period. It is the fifth community recycling centre to open in Auckland, with the aim of diverting waste from landfill and reinvesting the profits into the community, including by providing jobs. Council has set itself a Zero Waste by 2040 target.
The Trust is a partnership between three organisations with long-time commitments to zero waste, sustainability, recycling, community education and job creation – Sustainable North Trust of Silverdale, E-Cycle Limited and the Community Business and Environment Centre.
Speaking at the Opening Day, Julia Parfitt said that the involvement of community trusts made the scheme affordable. “If Council was to do it, we could probably add a number of zeros to the cost, but the community makes it possible,” she said.
Cr Wayne Walker spoke about the history of the site, describing how Stanmore Bay stream once flowed through the gully to the rear. Whangaparaoa School was once located there and after the school was moved, it became a landfill.
The centre continues to provide a free drop off point for recyclables such as glass, cans, plastic and cardboard.
Long term, the aim is to expand the site so that it can increase its services, including turning waste into a resource stream in the form of jobs and products.