Mangawhai Opportunity Factory tackling waste to landfill through education

25 July 2022

Sustainable Kaipara and Mangawhai Opportunity Factory are launching a community education campaign on what can and can’t be donated to opportunity shops in an effort to curb waste and save on landfill costs.

Opportunity shops and secondhand goods play an essential role in our community to ensure items can be reused and upcycled rather than wasted. With textile waste being one of New Zealand’s fastest growing waste streams with more than 220,000 tonnes ending up in landfills each year, it’s important that we educate people on purchasing clothes mindfully and gifting only good quality clothes to op shops. Clothing and textiles are a high-volume item which can overwhelm the capacity and storage space of secondhand shops.

Each year opportunity shops are faced with sending large amounts of unsaleable items to landfill which is a huge cost to these organisations. Opportunity shops don’t usually have the ability and resources to repair items but owners could get this done before donating them, which would save them ending up in landfill.

Mangawhai Opportunity Factory supervisor, Eva Rapp said, “we value donations immensely as they allow us to give back to the Mangawhai community. Good quality, clean items are fantastic- however, many items we receive can’t be sold, but could have been recycled or repaired by their owners. That’s why we are working on this campaign with Sustainable Kaipara.

“We want to shed light on this issue- to get our community thinking about what they buy in the first place and then to support the Mangawhai Opportunity to reduce what they send to landfill by helping them receive good quality donations” said Sarah Bray from Sustainable Kaipara.

Top tips for getting away from the ‘fast-fashion’ trap include:
● Look for brands whose supply chains are transparent and traceable.
● Buy secondhand.
● Shop your wardrobe! The most sustainable garment is the one you already have – wear it.

Information is available at The Mangawhai Opportunity Factory and on Sustainable Kaipara’s A-Z online waste and recycling guide which shows what can be done with items such as broken whiteware, e-waste and expired car seats.


Sustainable Kaipara is a community organisation dedicated to improving and restoring Kaipara’s environment. They are supported by the Ministry for the Environment and the Kaipara District Council. Their work currently focuses on closing the loop on resources by supporting waste diversion and composting. Get in touch if you need support to reduce waste or if you’d like to join the community compost service (for Mangawhai townships only at the moment).

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