About Z

An everyday hero at Z Palmerston

25/03/2015 - Sustainability news

Z Palmerston – the only service station in town, literally - and Shirley – a quiet everyday hero – make a difference busting waste.

Situated on State Highway One, Palmerston lies 50km north of Dunedin, at the junction of State Highway 85 to Central Otago commonly known as the ‘Pigroot’.  With a population of about 1,000 people, it’s the largest town in the Waihemo Ward of the Waitaki District.

Shirley has been working at Z Palmerston since 2010, and has initiated a number of waste reduction activities on site.

Through her local contacts, she’s found a home for empty oil bottles and soap containers - she drops them off to a garage in the nearby town of Waikouaiti on her way home. They use them to provide chain and bar lube to their customers from their bulk tank.

Paper, bottles, tins and plastics are sorted behind the till through an ingeniously adapted laundry hamper. One side takes the till receipts, while the other side takes tins, plastics or paper. The local recycling centre likes the till receipts separate. 



Z Palmerston is just down the road from a recycling facility. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays the forecourt concierge can be seen taking the wheelie bin full of recycling down to the facility to be emptied. 

This good relationship also sees Shirley and the other staff being able to check with the centre as to what can and can’t be recycled at their facility.  For instance, if it crinkles they can’t take it, but sandwich wraps are no problem.

Before they got into gear with recycling, they had three wheelie bins and a great stack of cardboard collected each week. Now they would be lucky to fill one wheelie bin a week. They are currently recycling over 80% of their waste.  What a result for Shirley and the local environment.

In Shirley’s words

“At the end of the day, it’s not hard – you’ve got to put the rubbish somewhere so you might as well put it in the right bin”.

We’re extremely pleased with the leadership Shirley has shown to tackle waste reduction, along with our other Waste Warriors across the country.