Wanganui District Council has agreed in principle to establish a new recycling centre.
Councillors made the unanimous decision at the strategy and finance committee meeting yesterday, after receiving a presentation about the project from council's senior policy adviser, Stuart Hylton.
Mr Hylton said the idea of a resource recovery centre was first mooted by Sustainable Whanganui at annual plan hearings over the past couple of years.
He said the idea fitted in with council's own waste minimisation policy, as well as public demand for greater recycling opportunities.
"There is a lack of recycling services provided by the private sector; this could fill that lack," Mr Hylton said.
It was unlikely the council would run the centre in-house, he said. However, local iwi Tupoho were keen to be involved in running it - and could also help in providing a suitable site for the centre.
The proposed site is where the old Wanganui prison used to stand, on Maria Pl Extension.
"That site is currently land banked for the treaty settlement, and we've been in discussions with Tupoho about this," Mr Hylton said.
Council has already had a feasibility study and a business plan for the centre drawn up.
Mr Hylton said the Peat St recycling centre would be shut and its operations moved to the resource recovery centre.
"The funding that the Peat St centre currently receives would be transferred to the resource recovery centre."
However, the range of materials that could be collected at the resource recovery centre would be much greater than that at the current recycling centre. They would include the dry recyclables currently collected, as well as second-hand goods, green waste, construction waste, household hazardous waste, e-waste, tyres, scrap metal, used oil and polystyrene.
Mr Hylton said the centre would be established in two stages. Stage one would cost $190,000 for set up, to be funded largely by the waste minimisation levy fund. Stage two, which would cost $210,000, could be funded from Ministry for the Environment funding.
"Operational costs would be totally funded through current rates allocations to waste minimisation activity, user fees and site leases," Mr Hylton said.
The committee agreed in principal to establish a resource recovery centre, to negotiate a partnership arrangement between the council and Tupoho to establish and govern the centre, and to use waste levy funds to establish the centre.