Construction Waste, where does it all go?

According to Level, (the authority on sustainable buildings in New Zealand, funded by BRANZ) 850,000 tonnes of waste is sent to landfills/clean fills yearly from construction and demolition alone. That’s some 141,000, 6-tonne African elephants. How’s that for perspective! Resulting in 8.5 million dollars in levy revenue per annum. 

We often don’t think about our waste, in to the rubbish bin it goes, and so disappears from our sight and consciousness - out of sight, out of mind. The same goes for the building industry, only the construction industry ‘rubbish bin’ is 10 times bigger! While we are incredibly lucky to have a lot of land here in New Zealand, space is quickly running out. It’s only a matter of time until waste levies and taxes are imposed. The current levy is at $10 per tonne of all waste sent to landfill. A small price for a lot of waste. The building industry has to get ahead of the game... 

But it doesn’t have to be this way, a large majority of construction waste can be diverted from landfills by having efficient and effective waste sorting procedures and the necessary allocated bins to do so. Waste reduction needs to be considered at the early design stage of any build.
A standard timber frame house, includes many components to the build and as a result a lot of potential waste. Stellaria’s e4 Blockhouse, has only two ‘touches’ to the wall – clay blocks and plaster. With the structural elements being pre-made steel and concrete - the end waste output is reduced considerably. 

Our first e4 block house has just started down in New Plymouth, and we will be keeping a close eye on our waste. We hope to report back on how much we can divert from landfill and clean fill - so watch this space! The goal is, to send less than 10kg of waste per m2 of gross floor area, to landfill/clean fill.  

Stellaria Construction Ltd is dedicated to sustainability, operating at a ‘cradle to cradle’ level wherever possible. This form of construction produces 45% less material waste and 95% less water waste. Being 100% natural, any off-cuts can be crushed back into the garden. We thrive on meeting every challenge to building sustainably! 

Check out NZGBC awesome introduction to Site Waste Managment