Monday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Tuesday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Wednesday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Thursday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Friday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Saturday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
Sunday9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
When you’re on a reuse, recycle and reduce mission, who you gonna call? After seeing all of their waste end up in landfill, the people of the Upper Clutha Basin decided to take action and create a not-for-profit social enterprise that would foster zero-waste living in Wanaka and further afield. Thus, Wastebusters was born.
Since 2000, these early adopters have grown the organisation into a multi-layered operation, proving that there is an easy, affordable and super fun alternative to a disposable society. Praise be.
Clear your schedule for the day and follow the good vibes and pumping beats into Wastebusters’ huge warehouse on Ballantyne Road. For those moving to Wanaka to live, looking for character pieces for their home or wanting to grab a sweet deal on second-hand sporting equipment, will find everything imaginable in this funky, retro haven. Fossick through clothing, kitchenware, linen, books, furniture, bedding, bikes and gear for days up the mountain. Paired with amazing service from a passionate team, you’ll never want to step foot in a Briscoes store again. The best part is that you can donate the goods back once you’re done with them so the cycle continues spinning.
Wastebusters is so much more than just a rad opshop. The organisation has been providing education programmes to regional schools where sustainability courses are integrated into the curriculum. Let’s be honest, none of us have really used trigonometry since our first year of high school– but how handy would package-free lunch ideas and learning about real recycling have been?
As well as in the schoolyard, over 750 businesses in Wanaka and Alexandra and events around Central Otago and the Queenstown Lakes district use Wastebusters’ recycling services. These companies rest easy knowing their recycling will all be handsorted to ensure minimal contamination and the opportunity to be remade into something useful. For those after tips to cut down on plastic and single use items, the enterprise’s support of Plastic Free Wanaka and SUCFree Wanaka 2022 is a godsend and their real life superhero, Dr Compost, provides eco-friendly gardening guides and brochures on topics like worm farming, composting and harvesting veggies.
It can be smelly, hard work out there, but working towards a day without waste makes it all worthwhile. Wastebusters, we tip our (secondhand) hats to you.
Words by Maggie Worthington & Photography by Nancy Zhou