A group of women in Wanaka, New Zealand saw a need for a better way to recycle perfectly good items that were going to the landfill. That’s when they decided to do something about it and started the “ReStore” a number of years ago. The store is a success story in that it serves a vital function in reducing the landfill flow, allows a source for people to purchase used items, and allows the community to re-think their priorities on what happens in the use-cycle of their stuff. The ReStore is actually called Wanaka Wastebusters (www.wanakawastebusters.co.nz) and their store is a feast for the eyes.
(Image: Dan Robertson, an employee of Wanaka Recycling, exits the ReStore to tend the recycle bins)
There’s a cult following in Salt Lake City Utah of Deseret Industries stores, operated by the Mormons. Most of the author’s wardrobe comes from high quality used clothes from Deseret Industries. Talking to others who frequent the Deseret Industries stores is like sharing a rock-climbing or alpine adventure story. And all of my favorite clothes are those from “D.I.” as it’s affectionately called amongst Utah locals.
(Image: The glass recycle bin and containers for household items and building materials at Wanaka Wastebusters)
In Wanaka, the ReStore looks like any other thrift store but it’s part of an in the center of the town recycle center. They’ve got recycling down to a fine art. A huge percentage of New Zealanders recycle and it can be seen in the activities at Wanaka Wastebusters.
Project Team Member, Angus Ho is soft spoken but talks intensely about his project, Get Real.org.nz which aims at educating people and government in reducing and eventually eliminating plastic bag use at stores throughout the country. Ho has set up an info board and laptop where citizens can sign a petition for legislation on the subject. The following are a few Q&A from the Wastebusters newsletter, (Yes, they have a newsletter):
Angus, what do you do in your job?
Angus Ho: I promote and design projects and campaigns. I set up the green Christmas Presents Campaign and the Recycled Envelope Campaign. I’m also doing waste check-ups for households and businesses. (more…)