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Published: 2011-07-06 00:00:00

A website launched 12 years ago to divert thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill has been revamped to make the free exchange of reusable items easier.

The new-look website ( has just gone live and members will need to re-register, including any materials previously listed and still available for exchange.

The Waste Exchange, established in 1999 by the Waikato Regional Council, now extends to most areas of the North Island and provides the community, including businesses, with cost-cutting alternatives to the landfilling of unwanted materials.

It gives all members of the community access to reusable materials, as well as information about local recyclers and regional recycling services.

The environment committee last month heard details of the website. Committee chairperson Jane Hennebry said: “The old adage that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure couldn’t be truer for the many people who’ve used this website over the years.

“It has been an innovative way of keeping usable items out of landfill as part of the council’s ongoing work to minimise waste and promote business sustainability in the Waikato region.

“The council’s work is in line with the national goals of reducing the harmful effects of waste and improving the efficiency of resource use.

“Looking to the future, work is already underway to review the region’s waste minimisation and management strategies, which will help inform the council during next year’s Long Term Plan,” Cr Hennebry said.

The council’s waste minimisation facilitator Marianna Tyler said it was the first time in 12 years the website had been revamped.

“The internet and its capabilities have progressed significantly since this website was first launched. More recently, the old web coding had been causing a number of issues, including showing very old and no longer available material listings,” Ms Tyler said.

“We’ve been working hard with the website developer to rectify these issues. Unfortunately, to enable this new site to be a success, everything had to be deleted from the old site. That means members of The Waste Exchange will need to re-register,” she said.

“Website users will see a fresh design and will find it much easier to upload photos of the available items and arrange the exchange of unwanted materials,” she said.

In just one 12 month period, over 1200 exchanges and 1,120 tonnes of waste was diverted from landfill. The website’s past successes have included the remanufacturing of 50 tonnes of soap flakes into detergent, the delivery of 200 pairs of gumboots to the Red Cross and reuse of 50,000 plastic bags.

Last year 22 councils in the North Island collaborated to fund a revamp of the website to ensure the service remains user-friendly, continues to support waste minimisation and increases reuse and resource efficiency. 

The site has been designed and developed by Hamilton-based company, WebSpring. The $29,000 project was coordinated by the Waikato Regional Council, with support from the Bay of Plenty Regional Council, and was funded through the waste levy funds of the 22 supporting councils.

You can view the website at