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Seagull Centre diverts more waste from landfill

The Seagull Centre in Thames is set to divert more items from going to landfill with its new Resource Recovery Park, which was officially opened today by Thames Ward Councillor Martin Rodley in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The previously vacant area on Burke Street, between the current Seagull Centre’s sales area and our Council’s Refuse Transfer Station (RTS), has been transformed, with a new sorting shed for dropped-off goods and two relocated school buildings, that serve as workshops and education facilities.

Between the buildings runs a new access lane, so people dropping off their reusable goods will no longer have to enter the existing retail area, but instead will be routed to the new access lane into the Resource Recovery Park.

The new facility also means changes for people using the RTS.

All domestic traffic heading to the RTS will now go through the new Resource Recovery Park and Seagull Centre staff will help customers sort out any items that can be reused or refurbished for sale. The customer then takes the rest to the transfer station for disposal. This will have the dual benefit of saving RTS customers money by reducing their loads and also lowering the amount of waste going to landfill.

The Resource Recovery Park's hours will match those of the RTS while the Seagull Centre's retail area will keep its current hours of 9:30am-4pm daily. Check the RTS hours on our website tcdc.govt.nz/rts.

“Our Council and Thames Community Board are proud to support the establishment of this great initiative which provides local employment, affordable goods, education and training services on environmental management,” says Councillor Rodley.

The manager of the Seagull Centre, Manus Pretorius, says the new facility not only serves to divert items from landfill, but also provides learning opportunities for the community.

“One of the functions of the Resource Recovery Park is a repair workshops so damaged, donated goods can be fixed up, while offering the community skills training and an opportunity to participate in the repair process," says Mr Pretorius.

“The Seagull Centre is a remarkable solution to converting 'waste' into a resource, and on various levels is a community-owned, social enterprise, that delivers on community connection and collaboration,” says Mr Pretorius.

The Seagull Centre is a charitable trust that operates independently of our Council but is sited on Council land. It was established in 2004 and last year had sales of about $300,000. In total, 85% of sales revenue is reinvested in local employment.

Like and follow the Seagull Centre on Facebook for more information.

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