It is surprising that a lot of things that are still in good condition can potentially end up in the rubbish bin here in Wellington. However, thanks to the conservation awareness efforts of the Ministry and through the efforts of charitable organizations, a lot of these get a second life in the form of used goods that people can buy at a discount.
When you need something for your house (a table here, a chair there, some clothes, appliances perhaps), check out garage sales which are run by families getting rid of excess stuff which can run from four hours to a couple of days, particularly during the weekends. This is advertised in the Trade & Exchange paper which is available from your local dairy, or at the community bulletin board in your nearest grocery store.
You can also take a look at the goods offered by organizations whose profits benefit the less fortunate. Take for example the Salvation Army Family Stores. They sell quite an assortment of goods, from dinnerware to tables chairs, beds and clothing. The Sallies, as they are more popularly known, use the proceeds from their shops for their community work. They have quite a presence here in the Wellington area, and there is bound to be a Family Shop in a major town. You can even have a free stuffed toy for your kid when you shop here.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society also runs a similar drive; their shops are called Vinnies Shoppes. There is one such store in Johnsonville. They sell clothing at a dollar each, but they also have plates, bric-a-brac, furniture. You can also volunteer your time in helping out run the store. Just approach their counter and ask how.
And then there's the Trash Palace. It's a recycling center located in Porirua. This is quite a large place, and they have lots of stuff on sale. Right in front of the store is a Free Stuff area, where you can get plates, cuttlery and books that you can simply get and drive home with. Or, enter the store and get to find a lot of stuff that you can still seriously use for a long time.
This is the free stuff area.
Many of these chairs are still structurally sound. You just need to upholster them.
As they say, "one man's garbage is another man's treasure." But in this time of environmental crisis (and shall I add, recession?), I saw a slogan in one of the stores here that is more appropriate: "refill, not landfill." Wait, that's hardly appropriate. Ummm... you get my drift.