Waste Tour Education

Waste Tour Education

The All Heart NZ team recently spent a day visiting several providers of waste processing and waste recycling services. The purpose of the visits was to expand our knowledge of the wider waste industry and make new connections.

Our first stop was at Hampton Downs landfill, one of the largest landfills in the Southern Hemisphere, and a Class 1 landfill facility. It was an eye-opener to see the scale of waste that comes through this site, and we were very impressed with how carefully the site is managed to protect the environment.

It was interesting to note that one of the items they find most challenging to manage in the landfill are mattresses, owing to their large size and sponginess, which creates holes in the landfill. At All Heart, we have recently started dismantling and recycling mattresses for our commercial customers to keep them out of landfills.

We next toured two Community Recycling Centres that comprise the Resource Recovery Network for residential waste. These are run by local community groups with the support of the Auckland Council.

Waiuku Zero Waste was one of the first centres to be set up and is well established in the Waiuku community. They accept residential waste streams, run a second-hand shop with donated or rescued items, have a community woodworking workshop, a tool library, and provide waste reduction education. It was a busy hive of activity with drop-offs and many shoppers looking for bargains and treasures in the shop.

Onehunga Zero Waste is the first Pasifika-run Community Recycling Centre in the network and opened in 2022. Their facility accepts residential waste and has a second-hand shop – we admired their upcycled furniture pieces handcrafted on-site and their stunning artwork made from plastic bottle tops.

Our last stop of the day was at the textile resource recovery facility Upparel. They provide textile recovery and recycling options. We have a partnership with UPPAREL and work with them to reuse clothing they recover. Any textiles that cannot be reused are recycled into a cushion-like fibre used as filling for furniture, insulation and other uses.

It was a long day on the road, but we all loved meeting the people at each of the sites and appreciated their willingness to share information and their passion and knowledge about their work and its impact.

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