No rest for Wastebusters with extra holiday volume

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Celebrations over the holiday period have quadrupled the amount of recycling being processed in Central Otago and Wanaka this summer.

Wanaka Wastebusters communications officer Gina Dempster said the two weeks after Christmas were always very busy as celebrations produced a large amount of recyclable waste.

Increased numbers of visitors in the region over Christmas and New Year were also a major contributor to the increased volume of recycling being collected.

The amount of recycling being dropped off daily at Wastebusters’ Wanaka plant during the holiday period was four times that of an average day in November.

Higher volumes of cardboard and glass came particularly from Wastebusters’ commercial customers and campgrounds, Ms Dempster said.

“I suppose the extra glass reflects the amount of celebrating people are doing.”

Staff were also being kept busy by events being held in the region, such as Wanaka’s Rhythm & Alps music festival.

Wastebusters was prepared for the surge of recycling that came through its plants, having bought a new truck and brought in extra staff to help over the holiday period, Ms Dempster said.

“We’ve been doing summers for 16 years now, so we are used to it.

“Everybody is still smiling and that’s the main thing.”

The Central Otago Wastebusters site in Alexandra is operating at full capacity again after last year’s fire, which damaged the recycling plant, staffroom and reuse shop in Boundary Rd.

Wastebusters scrambled to install temporary systems after the fire on January 1 last year and those systems had now been replaced by a “more efficient setup”.

More customers were also visiting Wastebusters’ reuse shops in Wanaka and Alexandra.

The shop at the Alexandra site was moved into shipping containers after the fire and many customers were starting to come back, Ms Dempster said.

“People are getting used to us being open seven days. We’re glad the community support is really picking up – it’s great to see.”