Reclaim Timber's trustees Adrienne and Robert Scott say timber does not belong in landfill and want the demolition industry to be regulated to prevent good timber and treated timber being dumped.

The couple, who have been in business for 10 years reclaiming timber destined for the city dump, are making a submission on the council's waste minimisation bill, which closes March 1.

Native timbers are becoming a timber of the past, but at Reclaim Timber they are very much in the present.

Premium native timbers are in state houses that are under the wrecking ball, and treated timbers from demolition or building sites are also bound for the dump.


"It's a mass onslaught and it's got to stop," the couple say.

"No-one's putting their heart and soul into recycling."

Successive governments have demolished state houses around the country and all the materials dumped into landfills.

Robert says no permits are required for demolition materials to be dumped.

He points to the truckloads of 4x2 timber that are being bulldozed into the landfill and Reclaim Timber wants to capture it all.

The couple say from their research and experience, 70 per cent or more of the waste stream is made up of reusable resources.

They say about 20 per cent is timber.

"We call it waste; it's not waste, it's surplus, it can be repurposed and it would be cheaper to keep timber out of the landfill."


The couple talk about the leachate from the dump on which Reclaim Timber sits, which they say is leaking into the Manawatū River.

This is another reason they want treated timber to be kept out of landfill.

"We are living in the extreme waste-stream of history and it's polluting the whenua."

The couple are walking the talk. Their site on Maxwell's Line beside the Manawatū River is testament to the work they do reclaiming timber.

Piles of timber in stacks that have been or are waiting to be denailed, and native timbers that would have been dumped, have been worked on by a team of volunteers.

This is the social arm of Reclaim Timber.

"There's an activity here for someone to do something," they say.

"We would not have been this far without our volunteers with an attitude to help.
"Their work ethic is tremendous."