Christchurch

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Christchurch is a city in New Zealand.

Dumpster diving

The large supermarkets in the central city - Countdown and Pak'n'Save - have their dumpsters inside in the delivery/warehouse area, so access to the dumpsters is not possible. Many of the small and medium sized supermarkets, or larger ones in the suburbs, however have their dumpster outside around the back. Even if the skips are locked, they often have "organic waste bins" (i.e. for perishable food items) which are blue and cylindrical, unlockable, and usually full of fruit and veges. Sometimes one or two of these bins will be full of bakery items too.

Also worth checking out are the fruit and vegetable retailers and specialty stores like bakeries, etc.

Be discreet - NZ police treat dumpster diving as theft (see video link on New Zealand page).

Good spots

  • The Countdown supermarket on Moorhouse Ave, CBD, tends to leave the gate to access to the dumpsters pretty much open 24/7. Be discreet, as it is located just behind the supermarket, next to a Chinese takeaway and in front of a university campus (so it's fairly busy). Plenty of bakery items at noon in the bigger dumpsters and literally loads of fruit and vege later on in the evening in the smaller organic bin (veggies can be found in bigger dumpsters as well). Very easy to score. (Last checked: Sept.2011)
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Recycled goods (free or very cheap)

  • Christchurch International Airport. Near the entrance there's a lil room with a scale and space for re-packing your over sized luggage. Lonely Planet guide books, trekking boots, hair gels, hand creams, shaving creams, tea, pillows, noodles and whatnot.
  • The Free Shop, 526 Blenheim Road, Sockburn, Christchurch. A varied and ever changing range of goods. Everything FREE!
  • the EcoShop 191 Blenheim Road. A bit of everything, from electronics to clothing. They occasionally also have a trolley full of free stuff.
  • Save Mart Second hand clothes and goods. PAPANUI, 472 Cranford Street. NEW BRIGHTON, 52 Brighton Mall, entry off Hawke Street. SYDENHAM, 39 Battersea Street. HORNBY, 94 Shands Road
  • Free offcuts of MDF (medium density fibreboard) are avaialble from the kitchen factory right before the Shell petrol station at Yaldhurst on State Highway 73. They have a bin on the roadside which is regularly refilled. Various sized pieces - lots of big pieces. Great for making shelving or for creating paintings on.

Interesting post earthquake DIY initiatives

  • Cultivate Waste was started by 3 students to recycle leftover food from city restaurants to create compost for the CultivateChCh urban farm. A report on Cultivate Waste in The Press newspaper here.
  • R.A.D Bikes - community bike workshop at 165 Gloucester Street, central Christchurch.
  • The Pallet Pavilion is a public performance venue/event space/cafe/market space built from recycled wooden pallets and funded by public donations.
  • Gap Filler is a creative urban regeneration initiative started in response to the September 4, 2010 Canterbury earthquake, and revised and expanded in light of the more destructive February 22, 2011 quake. Gap Filler aims to temporarily activate vacant sites within Christchurch with creative projects, to make for a more interesting, dynamic and vibrant city.
  • Greening the Rubble is an initiative to create up to six quiet and beautiful temporary public gardens in the city as ‘tranquil places’.
  • Ministry of Awesome has been established to inspire creativity and innovation in the city and use some of the empty spaces left by the quakes.
  • Whole House ReUse offers creative design solutions for respectful use of materials from earthquake damaged homes.


New Zealand

Auckland | Christchurch | Dunedin | Motueka | Nelson | Picton | Wellington | Whangarei

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