Two short years ago, establishing Zero Waste Ōtaki was just a dream held by a small group of people. Then the impact of Covid meant all but one of the original facilitators had to withdraw, leaving only one person who steadfastly held on to the dream.
Since then, Zero Waste Ōtaki has been established and developed by a pool of approximately-20 regular practical volunteers and 4 more working on behind the scenes administration. The site has grown from a piece of land covered with the remnants of a glass recycling project to a flourishing area, with 4 containers and wood storage bays surrounded by bunds planted with natives. Planting and weeding have been undertaken by the volunteers as well as every aspect of creating a working site which is open every Wednesday morning and the last Sunday of the month.
This has all been achieved purely with volunteer help. Without them there would be no Zero Waste Ōtaki. Volunteers continue to develop and run the whole operation.
What makes the volunteer or team of volunteers special?
There are a myriad of jobs that have been done to date and a myriad of ongoing components still to be done - relating to developing the site, and facilities, including refurbishing a container that was in sad disrepair and responding to the wood that is dropped off.
There is absolutely nothing glamorous about sorting incoming drop offs and then denailing and moving timber around, And while our site works were happening by degrees, wood was moved, then moved again, and again.
And this team of volunteers has remained not only committed, but extremely cheerful in the face of repetitive and tedious work in all weather conditions. And that makes them a very special group who deserve every accolade that comes their way.