Since the beginning of the year groups of offenders have been serving their community work sentences by working at the Refuse Transfer Station in Hastings.
Community Work sentences require offenders to do unpaid work in the community for non-profit organisations as reparation for their offending.
The offenders are required to unload the waste and sort out and separate all the recyclable materials such as plastic, cardboard, paper, glass bottles, scrap metal and green-waste.
Once all the recyclable materials have been recovered the remaining material is sent to a landfill for disposal. The offenders are also required to make sure the station's offloading area is clear of hazards, so that vehicles can easily move in and out of the area.
Hastings Waste Minimisation Officer Dominic Salmon says having the extra help on site makes it much easier to divert waste away from the landfill and assists the Council to meet its target of a 25 percent reduction of waste to the landfill by 2012.
“At times the area can get quite hectic with the number of vehicles entering the site, so its really great to have the offenders on community work helping as it streamlines the process. The community feedback has been really positive.
Hastings Senior Community Work Supervisor Wayne Simmonds says this project is a great way for the offenders to pay reparation for their crimes.
“It’s hard work and these guys just get stuck in and do a great job, they get a real sense of satisfaction knowing they’re doing something positive for the community.
“Many of them have little work experience and are gaining work skills and ethics that could potentially help them to gain employment in the future.”
Each year New Zealand communities benefit from almost three million hours of labour supplied through Community Work sentences.
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