Kaitaia MenzShed secretary/treasurer Dave Wase, centre, with, to his left, Northland Waste Recovery Centre manager Darryn Shanks, and some of the MenzShed members. The club has doubled in size since it moved to the centre last December. Photo / Mike Dinsdale
There’s a recycling revolution going on in a shed, tucked away in Kaitāia, where a group of talented and creative locals are doing their bit to reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill.
Last week saw the formal opening of the MenzShed Kaitāia, in a building attached to the Northland Waste Recovery Centre, at the end of Church Rd, after moving into the site from its previous cramped home in December last year.
The move has served the organisation well, with membership more than doubling from six to 13 and two women have become members, prompting Kaitāia MenzShed secretary/treasurer Dave Wase to joke it may have to be renamed the “personzshed”.
Wase said when Northland Waste Recovery Centre manager Darryn Shanks asked if the group wanted to move in next door, the group jumped at the chance, seeing it as an ideal opportunity to expand.
And it’s a perfect fit, Shanks said, as it closely aligns with the company’s waste minimisation mantra.
Shanks said the addition of the MenzShed had proved popular, with the centre taking many of the items they repaired to sell in its shop.
“We have people coming in asking when the old guys’ shed is going to be open again because they like to come through and see what they are up to,” Shanks said.
He said it took an entire community effort to reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill and the MenzShed was setting an example others should follow.
Wase said the new spot was perfect for the group, which started its day with a cuppa and chat before getting stuck into the many projects they have got lined up, which included making things to order, like the contract for making pig troughs.
‘’It’s a really social thing, but it’s also got that serious side of repairing items that would normally go to the landfill. We see things here being taken to the dump and we can get them out, repair and refurbish them, put them in the shop and they get a new life,’’ he said.
One such item was a vintage oak table that was left tired and broken in a skip. The shedders got it out and repaired it so it looks almost as good as new. It will now be sold through the recycling centre shop.
Wase said since the move to the new site there was lot more interest in people joining and the two female members were a first for the club.
Christine Klingenberg said she joined to continue exploring her artistic side and she loved the creativity it offered.
“I saw something on Facebook that they were encouraging a more broad membership. As a creative person I have to keep making things and this gives me the perfect opportunity to explore my creative side and also do a bit of good for the community,” she said.
Klingenberg is concentrating on upholstering old, abandoned items to give them a colourful, new lease of life, and she’s loving the work she’s doing.
She said as a retired person there was not a lot of work in the Kaitāia area so being at the MenzShed allowed her to keep updating her skills, while creating items for people to keep.
‘’I get to continue my creative side, it keeps me occupied and there’s such a lot of work that needs doing. Also there’s the social aspect. I’d recommend it to anybody.’’