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Environmental news

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

Eco Drinks Report

The first Eco Drinks meeting in a while was held at the Monkey House last Tuesday. A lively discussion emanated from the theme Waste Not; Want Not.

Kevin Robinson, Secretary of Whitianga’s MenzShed, inspired us with his tales from this burgeoning group of men finding enjoyment, friendships and purpose in their incredibly well-equipped workshop. Apart from a purchased thicknesser, all the tools and machinery have been donated (read recycled!). The blokes have their own projects and also help others by fixing furniture, repairing household items which might have otherwise been dumped, and contributing to other community projects. They also produce a wide range of beautifully crafted furniture and kitchenware from donated materials. Look out for their sales stall at the Labour Weekend market. I certainly recommend the beautiful breadboards all made from recovered and donated timber.

As a further plus morning teas at the MenzShed are frequently much longer than usual workplace smokos. Kevin makes sure that well being and men’s health issues get a safe hearing. A good place to pop in to for friendship and creativity combined. You’ll find the MenzShed down SH West just past the dump.

The Mercury Bay Resource Recovery Centre Trust was represented by trustees Tracey Bell and Manus Pretorius. A massive amount of voluntary work has been done these past 2 years and now with a major Grant from the Ministry for the Environments’ Waste Minimisation Fund, and support from MB Community Board, the Trust is planning for appropriate infrastructure at Whitianga’s new Transfer Station (in Moewai Rd) that will enable incoming waste to be sorted to remove recyclable and reusable items, a retail facility similar to the Seagull Centre in Thames and a very important building construction and demolition waste processing facility. These will all cut down a huge amount of “rubbish” that would otherwise go to expensive landfill.

This concept, which is rapidly spreading and being demanded now throughout our various Coromandel towns, has been a real beneficiary of the knowledge that Manus brings from his many years establishing the Seagull Centre in Thames. The Trust is now on the hunt for a catchy name for our very own recycling centre so please look out for their posters with details of their naming competition.

The Eco Drinks participants were very actively engaged with this amazing community effort and we could have talked for many hours. But now it’s time for action! So if you would like to get involved the Trust would appreciate a call from you.

A big thanks to Molly and Kaspar for providing a welcoming venue at the Monkey House and to all those who braved winter weather to come along. It was engaging, lively and very informative. See you again in a month.

Anna Horne


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