Hāwea Flat sharing shed closes after becoming dumping zone

by Lauren Pattemore - Apr 03, 2024

Hāwea Flat's second free donation and collection site has been shut down after it became loaded with items better suited for the dump.

Resident Hamish Horsley lives just down from where the sharing shed was set up and says it deteriorated quickly, but he thinks it's a "real shame" to lose such an important resource in the community. 

"People started dumping mattresses, crappy couches - because really big bulky stuff is expensive to dump...people have left buckets of broken tiles and concrete."

He says there was nobody formally running the site, located in a public green space known as Windmill Corner, and he reckons that is a factor in why people were leaving their waste there.  

Resident Hamish Horsley has watched the site became a dumping zone for bulky items.

This second shed was set up after the first site closed in May 2023 due to growing public safety concerns. It was located on the property of Susan Allison, and situated just after a blind corner on the busy 100-kilometre Kane Road - used frequently by trucks. 

Ms Allison managed all the donations herself since she opened the site in 2017.

The first sharing shed became quite a well-known and popular resource in the community, with Mr Horsely recalling to Crux how one jolly jumper children's toy had been used and returned to the shed 10 times. 

He says there was a tidy up of the new site in early January, but, shortly after, people began dumping items there and others had to front the cost of clearing these items to Wastebusters. 

Two weeks ago, a sign saying "no more donations" was put up at the site.

A Facebook page was also set up in another attempt to change behaviour.

However people continued to leave bulky items there, and Mr Horsley says just the other day large mattresses were dropped off.

The most-recent sign located at the shed.

A post to Facebook says many people have been doing tidy-ups but they cannot keep up with the dumping. 

"Eventually it got to the point where we couldn’t keep up and a few weeks ago we reluctantly decided to close it down," the post says. 

"The intention was to have a space for goods to be recirculated within the community, in the face of the cost of living crisis and to keep things out of the landfill.

"There have been some amazing things dropped off and the turnover of goods has been high, sometimes things leave within hours of being dropped off."

The sharing shed post asks if members of the community, particularly those who own a trailer, are able to help clear items away and take them to the transfer station. 

Main image (Facebook/Hawea Flat Community/Hamish Horsley): The share shed on Windmill Corner has become a dumping zone.

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