Plastic waste audit – third phase
We’ve been working with Unitec’s Environmental Solutions Research Centre to collect and audit the plastic waste from one of our Auckland construction sites from start to finish, looking for ways to divert plastic away from landfill.
We’ve summarised the results and waste reduction initiatives from the first two phases of the new gym and technical block at Onehunga High School here. The third phase, the interior fitout, generated another interesting pile of plastic rubbish!
Plastic waste from the fitout phase at Onehunga High School.
We collected a 9 cubic metre bin of plastic over the course of the fitout, and managed to divert a large percentage of it away from landfill:
- 310kg of soft plastic including shrink wrap went to saveBOARD
- PVC pipe offcuts went back to Marley
- Polystyrene went to DIVERT NZ
- Drink bottles went into the kerbside recycling
We also identified a few things that shouldn’t have been thrown away and followed up with the subs to let them know.
All the recyclable soft plastics bagged up for saveBOARD.
One of our major waste reduction initiatives in this phase was to collect up all the PVC pipe offcuts and return them to Marley, where they recycle both offcuts and end of life PVC pipes and fittings, spouting and downpipes and PE pipes. We’ve rolled out Marley collection bags on most of our Auckland projects, collecting 400kgs so far. One of our sites collected so much, Marley treated them all to hot cross buns!
Click here for more information on Marley’s recycling programme. Please note that you need to separate PE & PVC pipes, remove rings, fabric, tape & strapping, and make sure they’re clean. We made a new “PVC pipe” recycling sign, based on WasteMINZ’s standardised recycling signage, to let our team know. Marley have recycling stations at some Plumbing World stores, including the Silverdale, Albany, Kingsland, Mt Wellington, and Takanini branches in Auckland.
PVC pipe recycling bag and signage.
While the Onehunga High School project has finished, we’re keeping the waste elimination mahi going, extending the lessons learned to our other sites in Auckland and around New Zealand. We’ve also formed the Sustainable Construction Avengers with Unitec, Mitre 10, Buildlink and Auckland Council, bringing together construction, retail, governance and education entities so we can collaborate on ways to divert plastic from landfill.