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Waste Resource Trust

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Waste Resource Trusts Glenda Andrew-Neal and Denise Roche

The primary objective of the Waste Resource Trust, located at Artworks, is to educate and inform residents, visitors, schools, community groups and local businesses on issues surrounding recycling and waste management on Waiheke Island and to offer advice and practical solutions.

The end result is to reduce the amount of waste we send back to Auckland landfills.

The Waste Resource Trust is affiliated with Clean Stream Waiheke Ltd, a community-based organisation which in 2001 won the seven-year rubbish collection and recycling contracts on the island, formerly held by Waste Management Ltd. Among the trustees is one of the doyens of Waiheke politics, Gordon Hodson.

Each year the Waste Resource Trust organises Junk to Funk, Waiheke's annual wearable arts show that makes recycling its centrepiece theme.


Waiheke had its own landfill site until the late 1980s, when the Waiheke County Council, which ran the island administratively, closed it. Subesquent recycling and composting initiatives eventually became ineffective through a lack of incentives to contractors.

In 1998 a group of frustated islanders formed the Waste Resource Trust to help develop a sense of community responsibility for the vexed issue of the island's waste stream. An audit of the waste stream and a survey of residents confirmed for trustees there was huge potential in recycling on the island.

At about the turn of the century, Auckland City developed, through consultation with islanders, the Waiheke Waste Management Plan, which set in place a four-year for the reduction of island waste.

In 2000, in association with Kaitaia's Community Business and Education Centre, the trust proposed to take over management of the waste stream, a proposal rejected by Auckland City, which put the contracts out for tender.

In 2001, Clean Stream Waiheke Ltd, a joint venture between WRT and CBEC, was awarded the waste collection and transfer station managment contracts.

In 2009, the community-owned organisation lost the tender process, with the council awarding the $22 million contract to Australian multinational Transpacific Industries, on the grounds its tender was $600,000 lower. Outraged, islanders marched on the City Development Committee meeting on June 11, 2009. The councillors made the decision to a deafening cry of "Shame!"

The organisation

The Waste Resource Trust employs 16 full-time staff, a number of part-timers and two community waste educators.

From its website:

"We are meeting our social objectives. Our staff have a skills-based pay collective employment agreement which ensures that they receive training that is useful and portable. Clean Stream Waiheke Ltd’s annual turnover is in excess of $1,000,000 per annum and we contribute over $500,000 in wages and services paid within our local community."

The future

A $3 million proposal is in the pipeline to develop the Waiheke Transfer Station into a full resource recovery park.

Auckland City's take on the project can be found here.

A concept plan can be seen here.

Waste Resource Trust Update Aug.'08

See Also