Recycling tip of the iceberg

Everything and the kitchen sink... waste services development officer Judy Scott with some of the items for sale at the recycling centre. Picture: Dominique Menegaldo www.communitypix.com.au d400388
Everything and the kitchen sink... waste services development officer Judy Scott with some of the items for sale at the recycling centre. Picture: Dominique Menegaldo www.communitypix.com.au d400388

Every day, from 7.30am until 4pm, the gates open and slowly but surely people filter in, looking for a piece of treasure in what has become known as the Balcatta Tip Shop.

Located at the front of the recycling centre, the ‘shop’ stretches for about 200 metres, containing almost everything, and anything, you can think of.

From sporting equipment to closets, building material, transistor radios, spas and, yes, even the kitchen sink, the shop is a collector’s paradise.

Run under contract from the City of Stirling for more than 10 years, the tip shop takes recycling to its logical conclusion.

Staff will take anything, within reason, off your hands free of charge, with no dumping fees, and then on-sell it at extremely low prices, from planks of wood to re-useable building waste.

City of Stirling waste services development officer Judy Scott said that while the concept of a tip shop was not new, Balcatta was by far the most popular in the state.

‘On Saturday and Sunday, it is standing room only, and even now, mid-morning on a Friday, there’s quite a few people here,’ she said. ‘Basically we take unwanted household goods, and the staff will indicate if we can take it and then on-sell it, because as they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

‘I can tell you there are loads of bargains to be found, and the prices, well I’ve never seen anything for more than $50 in here.’

Ms Scott said she was constantly amazed at what people would buy for the right price.

‘Coffins are surprisingly popular, and people use them for almost anything, from coffee tables to converting it into an esky,’ she said.

‘One man actually turned a metal coffin into a toolbox.

‘We actually get antique dealers coming down here looking for a bargain, and a lot of second-hand shops will come down here to pick up a bargain.’

Lorna Peneuta was one City of Stirling resident at the tip shop last Friday, and she said she had fitted out almost her entire home from the shop.

‘There’s so much you can find down here, it’s an absolute treasure trove,’ Ms Peneuta said.