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New site manager and services at Xtreme Waste

If you’ve been up to the Raglan Recycling Centre lately, you will have noticed some remarkable changes.
Expanded operations, new staff, better product presentation, and clearer pricing are just a few of the elements of what executive team leader Jacqui Forbes describes as “a logical evolution of some core areas of the site, aimed at making items easier to find, and making shopping up here a more enjoyable experience.”

Much of the recent change has been driven by new site manager Gavin Melgren, a well known Raglanite, who grew up working for his family’s rubbish disposal business in Hamilton.

Says Melgren, “It has been really interesting taking on this challenge, considering that when I began in this business nearly 45 years ago, the goal was all about filling holes in the ground. Our aims up here are completely the opposite, with the goal of Zero Waste to landfill forcing a 180 degree change in approach.”

Some of the improvements include a massively expanded and improved metal recovery yard, a covered e-waste section, and a wood yard that’s now akin to a standard demolition yard.

Wood yard manager, Donald Tweedie is another new staff member, who brings a huge range of practical skills, to help customers with small alterations and repairs to any products sold. “I get a buzz realising the potential for the things we save,” says Tweedie.

“Often a window or door-frame needs a tiny bit of bog, or some planing here and there, to make it work 100%. Re-using items is even better than recycling, so when someone heads home with a rescued window that works properly, I feel good, knowing we’ve done our job, and given that person a great deal,” he says

Says Forbes, “We feel we have got a pretty good handle on the recycling aspect of things, so we’re now putting more emphasis on re-using items, wherever possible,”

“We do this in partnership with the community, who generously donate items for sale. Last week someone dropped off a ride-on mower, which we are selling for about ½ the Trade Me price, and this is becoming a common type of occurrence. Being non-profit, we can pass these great deals on,” she added.

Despite the impressive site improvements, traditionally low prices haven’t changed, nor has the commitment to community well-being, from Raglan’s ground-breaking, waste management experts.

For more info and summer opening hours go to

Tim Rainger

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