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Our Environment: Issue 25 Summer 2000

Our Environment: Christchurch City Council's Environmental Newsletter

Shoppers Seek Out Bargains In Supershed

Bargins at the  SuperShed reuse warehouseTVs, shoes, tools, stoves, mirrors. There’s something for everyone at the RMF’s new SuperShed reuse warehouse.

Situated next to the Bromley wastewater treatment plant, the Supershed is set in landscaped grounds down Shuttle Drive off Pages Rd. Another attractive feature of the site is the nearby buildings and workshops, which could be made available to small businesses and community employment groups to upgrade goods and produce reused/recycled items for sale in the SuperShed.

The warehouse is the latest initiative of the Recovered Materials Foundation, a not- for- profit organisation set up by the Christchurch City Council to develop markets for recovered materials. The RMF has been managing the Council’s recycling centres under contract to the Waste Management Unit for the past two years.

It set up the new SuperShed to look like a supermarket, with wide signposted rows of clean, displayed goods. The “shed” part of the name was derived from media personality and author Jim Hopkins’ book “Blokes and Sheds”. Jim Hopkins played a major role in the launch of the new SuperShed at the end of October.

Staff have noticed a marked increase in new customers visiting the SuperShed. It now has a higher average weekly turnover than the three former recycling centres combined. Relocating the retail outlets to a central warehouse has also provided additional space for materials recovery at the refuse stations. The extra space allows more cars to pull in and out to drop off materials without having to compete for parking space with customers purchasing goods.

Additional staff have been employed to assist customers identify and off-load reusable/recyclable materials at the refuse stations. Recovered materials are then loaded into containers for weighing and transported to the SuperShed. This is the first time in New Zealand that all recovered materials can be accurately weighed to assess the impact these centres have on wastestream diversion.

Sarah Gordon

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