Council adopts zero-waste demolition strategy

The barn at Puhoi Pioneer Memorial Park prior to deconstruction.

The demolition of a Puhoi barn last week was undertaken in accordance with a new Auckland Council strategy to drastically reduce construction waste.

The Rodney Local Board was faced with removing the dilapidated barn in Puhoi Pioneer Memorial Park for safety reasons, but aimed to accomplish the demolition without generating any waste for landfill.

Contractor Trow Group was engaged to undertake the demolition. Rather than adopt a ‘wrecking ball’ approach, they carefully deconstructed the barn to recover all the reusable corrugated iron and timber.

Council is currently working towards a similar approach to all its building demolition projects, whereby building materials will be recovered and recycled rather than being dumped.

Reusable materials can include building fixtures such as seating, light fittings, kitchen and bathroom sinks, as well as important building components and materials, such as trusses, timber, corrugated iron and steel.

Council communications specialist Kate Williams says the Auckland region is in the middle of a major building boom, which generates a lot of waste that usually ends up being sent to landfill.

“Construction and demolition waste currently accounts for 50 per cent of Auckland’s total waste stream,” she says.

Council estimates that for the year ending 30 June 2019, Auckland will have produced 568,935 tonnes of construction and demolition waste – the equivalent of 196 Auckland Town Halls filled to the brim with waste and stacked on top of each other.

Moreover, construction and demolition waste is expected to grow at about 3 per cent per annum.

Ms Williams says materials recovered from the Puhoi barn will be redistributed to charities and community groups in Auckland, or they could possibly be sent to the Pacific Islands to assist with reconstruction efforts in the wake of recent cyclones.


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