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Wellington retail store Tip Shop saves landfill space

Wellington retail store Tip Shop is proving the old adage that one person’s trash is another’s treasure by giving rubbish a second life and saving on landfill space.

The concept of Tip Shop is to divert waste from the landfill by giving items that are still in unusable condition a second life.

“Not everyone wants to buy new, and not everyone can afford to buy new,” says Jemma, team leader at Tip Shop. “It’s important to offer those alternatives that are affordable to people who can’t [afford full-priced items] or want something with character or with a history in it.”

Besides serving as a drop-off place for used items, the shop also offers a range of bargains, including furniture, building materials, tools, clothes and books.

Resource Recovery officer Amy says the store has received a lot of cool items from residents.

“We had this cow collection – cow jugs, cow salt and pepper shakers, stuff like that. There were boxes and boxes of them,” Amy said.

Another staff said a coffin turned up once, and more recently a pair of rare antique spectacles that sold for $8200 on Trade Me.

“I just don’t know where people get this stuff from, but it ends up at the Tip Shop,” Jemma says.

The team also often receives items that are in a bad condition and are no longer usable, however.

“Sometimes people put quite a lot of pressure on you to take their stuff. Sometimes people just bring us rubbish and we have to say “I’m sorry, but no one is going to reuse that”,” said Amy.

According to Jemma, Tip Shop’s mission is to provide resources and encourage resource reuse and recovery while still being a functional business.

“We care about the environment a lot, but we also care about our customers and we want them to have a good time,” Amy said.

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