Resource Recovery

St Johns Goodwill OppshopThere are a number of initiatives on Great Barrier Island for resource recovery. Bottle, plastic, can, and cardboard depots are scattered around the Island with bottles being separated into different colours for reuse . Vegetable matter is separated from hard landfill at the dump and all cardboard is to be disposed of at a worm farm/compost site in Claris.

Drop off stations for recycling into the following categories are at Okiwi, Motairehe, Kawa, Okupu, Medlands, Puriri Bay, Rosalie Bay Rd and Mulberry Grove: Green, clear and brown glass, plastic kitchen and laundry containers, aluminium cans, and tin cans.

There is the St Johns Goodwill Oppshop at the Community Church in Medlands which handles household goods and clothing for reuse and the Rat Shed in Shoal bay where people can drop off unwanted goods that can be reused, such as; kitchen items, building materials, furniture, whiteware (often bigger items than the St Johns Goodwill Oppshop can handle). They are passed on for a donation.

Some other initiatives on the Island are;

  • A number of arts and crafts are being made from preloved materials.
  • Furniture is often passed on around communities, both formally and informally.
  • Claris store accepts old household batteries which the Claris landfill operators pick up.
  • Stonewall Store have installed more bulk bins for refilling BYO containers. They no longer have plastic bags. The Claris store is moving towards being plastic bag free.
  • Sarah Harrison collects bubble wrap and other from others for wrapping her pottery etc. Up north the Visitor Centre does the same.
  • There is a food co op in the north of the Island that allows people to buy food in bulk. Members place their orders and then on delivery day turn up with their containers and the bulk goods are measured and distributed.
  • Okiwi Passion deliver veggie (banana) boxes around the island thus reducing packaging associated with buying produce from off island and they then collect the banana boxes back for reuse. People collect and wash banana box liners and deliver them to Okiwi Passion for reuse. Okiwi Passion also sell eggs and the egg cartons are cycled and reused over and over.
  • Compost and gardening workshops are run all around the island facilitating people to grow their own food and recycle the waste.
  • The community gardens also supply packaging free produce, accept old carpet etc for pathways, provide community worm farm and composting bins.
  • Beside the Church Opp Shop is a shed for dropping off or picking up plant containers.
  • The Fitzroy Store have supplied recycling bins outside their store, they also attach reduce waste messages to the rubbish bags that they sell.
  • Hillary Outdoors encourages waste minimisation and educates about waste. They have created one sculptural seat already and are collecting more plastic bottles stuffed tight with plastic wrappers etc to use as building blocks.
  • Department of Conservation installed a worm farm at their Medlands Campground last season and are looking to install them at more campgrounds in the future.
  • Papercrete is still being worked on and there is talk of an amphitheatre being built from tyres filled with papercrete.
  • Many food outlets provide food scraps for peoples pigs or chickens.
  • Barrier Chitchat is a public Facebook group for GBI people to sell, or ask if anyone is selling, goods.
  • WastewiseGBI is a public Facebook group striving for “Nature Knows No Waste”. So reduce, reuse, recycle.

Further information about resource recycling can be found in the Barrier Bulletin on the Waste Lines page or by contacting the Wastewise Facilitator.


“It’s all about rethink, reduce, reuse, and recycle.”


Recycling Stations


Corner of Kawa and Motairehe road.


Corner of Medland Road and Oruawharo Lane.


Across the road from the playground at Motairehe.

Mulberry Grove

Halfway between the shops and the school.


Aotea Rd, across and just up the road from the school.


1.7km from the start of Blind Bay Road.

Pururi Bay

1.7km from the start of Pururi Bay Road.

St Johns Goodwill Oppshop

St Johns Goodwill Oppshop

558 Medlands Road

Ph: 09 4290 264

Rat Shed

Rat Shed

34 Shoal Bay Road

Ph: 09 4290 455

Wastewise Facilitator

Wastewise Facilitator

Any ideas, suggestions, or questions get in touch with Joanne.

Ph: 09 4290 809

Last updated on the 06-04-2020