New wheels for miners

The e-waste collection in Te Awamutu recently. Urban Miners will be at the Te Awamutu Sports Ground carpark on Sunday from 9am to 11am.

Urban Miners has a new truck thanks to what is probably the last piece of generosity by Waipā councillors in this term.

At its final meeting in Te Awamutu on Tuesday, councillors agreed to gift a 1995 Isuzu Elf used by its Parks and Reserves team, to Rotary Cambridge to use for its award-winning e-waste recycling programme.

A paper prepared by staff suggested selling the small truck for $5600 plus GST.

Deputy chief executive Ken Morris told the council the parks team was midway through a small truck replacement programme when Urban Miners approached them to buy one for its activities.

Four trucks were made available for viewing and Rotary opted for the Isuzu Elf and agreed to pay the asked price.

“In the past, council has been approached to on-sell or gift vehicles it is disposing of, and the vehicle disposal policy addresses this by allowing approval from council on a case-by-case basis,” said Morris.

Councillors had already agreed on the recommendation when mayor Jim Mylchreest said he wanted to test the appetite of councillors to gift the vehicle.

All agreed.

The vehicle will be stripped of its branding and accessories before transferring to Cambridge Rotary which launched Urban Miners, the brainchild of David Blewden and Mark Hanlon, in 2020,

Run by Cambridge Rotary Club in conjunction with its Te Awamutu counterparts, Urban Miners recycles or diverts for reuse, a range of e-waste items collected monthly by volunteers in Waipā.

In two years, the programme has collected and diverted more than 15 tonnes of e-waste from landfill.

Urban Miners receives funding from Waipā District Council’s Waste Minimisation Funds, and the Cambridge Community Board.

Urban Miners won the best community group award in the Keep New Zealand Beautiful Awards earlier this year.

Collections take place from 9-11am in Cambridge and Te Awamutu – on the first Sunday of every month at the Te Awamutu Sports and Recreation Club while the Cambridge collection is held in Swayne Road outside Cambridge High School on the third Sunday.

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