Spring Cleaning

17 September 2012

Spring has sprung, so it's a great time to scrub your place clean and clear out stuff you don't need anymore - but could be a big help for Wellington's charitable organisations.

Books donated for the Downtown Community Ministry book fair

Books donated for the Downtown Community Ministry book fair

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says it always pays to think before you throw anything out.

"Your old curtains could be the answer to someone else's struggle with living in cold conditions, or that working-but-old washing machine might do the trick for a refugee family.

"There are people in our community who could do with your help. By donating your unwanted items to the right place, you're making a huge difference to someone else's life - it's that easy."

So before you set off for the tip with unwanted items, here are a few of our hard-working organisations that would like to hear from you.

We're coming up to one of the biggest events of the year for booklovers - the Downtown Community Ministry Book Fair. If you want to expand your library at home - mark 11 - 12 November in your diary.

The Council works closely with Downtown Community Ministry, which provides advocacy and programmes for disadvantaged people - many of whom have a history of homelessness, incarceration or addiction.

Director Stephanie McIntyre says the fair generates about 20 percent of their annual income.

"Our book fair is critical to enable us to continue supporting people to move out of homelessness and get back on their feet. We're reliant on the people of Wellington to help us donating books or attending the fair."

Go to the Downtown Community Ministry website for a list of drop-off points or phone them on (04) 384 7699 and arrange a collection. The book fair also accepts records, CDs, DVDs, puzzles and games.

Downtown Community Ministry website

We're also proud supporters of the Sustainability Trust, and one of their initiatives is the Wellington Curtain Bank. Through this, people on low incomes, and those who suffer from living in a cold, damp environment can get free recycled curtains installed in their home.

There are several places around the city where you can drop off your curtains - find out at the Sustainability Trust website, where you'll also find information about recycling electronics or eWaste.

Sustainability Trust website

The trust works with RCN, who dismantle and recycle all kinds of gadgets, from televisions and laptops to stereos and alarm clocks. All eWaste can be dropped off at Forresters Lane (just off Tory Street), on weekdays 9.00am - 4.00pm - there's a small charge for most items.

If you've upgraded your whiteware or other household items, but your old ones are still good quality, Refugee Services Aotearoa New Zealand can use your donations for refugees who have just arrived in New Zealand.

Other organisations in Wellington that welcome donations include Women's Refuge, Barnardos, Plunket and Dress for Success.

Give them a call first in case they're overloaded. Another option is to get to know your neighbours by having a 'garage-swap' instead of a garage sale. Part of the Council's work is to encourage Wellingtonians to develop stronger communities, so before the skips start appearing on your street, talk to your neighbours. If there's ever a large-scale emergency in Wellington, you'll know you can call on them for help.

If all else fails, don't forget our Second Treasures shop at the Southern Landfill. They accept usable items and resell them at very low prices. For opening hours, phone (04) 499 4444 or visit:

Second Treasures Shop

Another tip shop is Trash Palace at Spicer's Landfill in Tawa.

Mayor Wade-Brown says reusing, recycling or donating goods fits with our Smart City vision for 2040.

"All of this helps to make our eco-city connected and people-centred - the way it should be."

For a list of recycling organisations, go to:

Rubbish and Recycling - Links