We are back at the Hutchinson Group to visit the second enterprise under their umbrella: Goodwood.
WORDS MOIQUE BALVERT-O’CONNOR / PHOTOS TRACIE HEASMAN
Imagine going to work each day knowing you are helping make the world a better place. Well, so it is for those working at Mt Maunganui-based business Goodwood. This enterprise, with its focus on saving untreated timber from going to landfills, is part of the Hutchinson Group, along with The The Relocatable House Co (who we featured last issue). Both enterprises have their sights clearly set on repurposing what would otherwise be waste. They create something of value, and do environmental good at the same time.
Goodwood has been operating for two years, collecting untreated timber which is then mulched to create value-added products. Garden mulch, playground mulch (called goodfall) and animal bedding for calf pads (sold through Bonnie the Cow brand) are those products. They are highly rated, but also applauded is the fact this company is recycling 60 tonnes of untreated timber every week, preventing it from going to landfill. The company’s managing director, Richard Hutchinson, says 2,500 tonnes was collected over the last year. There’s capacity for growth, and growing interest.
“Awareness of environmental issues is on the rise and we’re doing our little bit, one pallet at a time. Untreated timber may be a small section of New Zealand’s waste problem, but it’s a problem that shouldn’t exist,” Richard says.
Goodwood’s two large trucks collect off-cuts from big sawmills and pallets from kiwifruit packhouses, for example. They are basically providing a wood waste solution for a variety of businesses. Construction companies too are looking at using Goodwood as part of their required waste management plans.
Goodwood covers predominantly the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and King Country, although its product is sold across a much wider geographical area. Goodwood charges a small collection fee, and Richard says an increasing number of businesses are recognising that the service fee is a fraction of the transfer station disposal cost.
The mulching and then manufacturing of product is carried out at the company’s Mt Maunganui base in Truman Lane, on land leased from Tauranga City Council (who encourage Goodwood’s wood waste practices). There’s also a manufacturing presence in the South Waikato where Californian Redwood offcuts are processed into garden mulch.
Richard is proud of the fact the company is effecting change for good.
“It’s the right thing to do; and we’re doing it.”
But there’s more good on the horizon for the Hutchinson Group. The Relocatable House Co offers an alternative to house demolition and is now looking at house deconstruction. Houses not suitable to be moved will be deconstructed, and the untreated timber recycled. And then there’s the goodwater initiative involving a woodchip aquifer that filters runoff, so it’s clean when it hits streams and rivers.
It’s all busy, in a very good way.