Auckland Council’s focus on reducing construction & demolition waste

It might surprise some people to know that the greatest volume of waste in the Auckland region comes from construction and demolition, more than double the total waste from all household collections in the region.

Auckland produces around 600,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste each year. That is the equivalent of 23,155 shipping containers. An average new house build produces 4.5 tonnes of waste, with materials worth more than $31,000 if they were saved rather than sent to landfill. To put it into perspective, you’d have to set your kerbside bin out weekly for more than 30 years to generate that much waste.

Qualitative research undertaken by Auckland Council to better understand sentiment towards waste reduction has revealed that any changes to the methods used to deal with waste needs to clearly articulate the industry benefits, ensure external market structures provide the capability to act sustainably, and be backed by regulation. Contractors and builders are also wary of adding time, complexity, and risk to the project.

The industry feedback also identified some better practices for engaging the customer, designing the jobsite, and standardising materials to reduce waste. For example:

  • Working with designers to design waste out at the initial stages of concept and planning the build
  • Encourage contractors to provide more than one option of pricing/services for waste management and let the customer decide
  • Ensure the contractor has a Site Waste Minimisation Plan to plan out and separate waste and to eliminate waste escaping from site
  • Offer multi-bin options that work for small sites with a colour-coded system for the different types of materials
  • Work with suppliers to reduce waste on packaging
  • Create an onsite waste management mental shortcut system for staff and contractors to engrain positive behaviours easily, introduce waste into induction and toolbox discussions
  • More information can be found here: https://www.makethemostofwaste.co.nz/construction-waste/

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Bernadette Robert

Bernadette Robert