Reusable cable ties
One of the big surprises from our AUT waste diversion project was how much waste came from cable ties – we collected two big sacks of these handy little plastic strips.
We use a lot of cable ties on our sites – electricians told us they would be using 1000 cable ties on each of the eight floors of AUT A1. They’re great for any number of temporary jobs, from attaching scaffolding tags to securing site signage to keeping cables out of the way. But they’re made from nylon plastic, which can’t be recycled in New Zealand. We decided to try to find an alternative.
A bit of research led us to reusable cable ties, and Mitre 10 kindly gave us enough to start trialling them on our sites all over New Zealand. Reusable cable ties attach the same way as a single-use tie, by threading the tail through a slot and pulling the tail to form a loop that locks into place. But the reusable cable ties can be released by pushing a tab on the head, so they can be re-used rather than being cut off and ending up in landfill. We’re using green reusable cable ties on our sites so it’s clear to the team that they can be released and reused.
We also found that a quick toolbox talk with installers leads to all cable ties, both reusable and traditional, being used more effectively. We challenge site personnel to select the right length of cable tie for the task at hand so the tail doesn’t need to be cut off – if the tail isn’t too long, it can tucked in or turned to run along a surface rather than being cut. This means less tidying up, less plastic going to landfill, and fewer safety hazards from being poked in the eye by the sharp end of cable tie!
Mark Roberts, Senior Waste Planning Specialist at Auckland Council, is pleased to see that Naylor Love is taking on cable ties,
Whilst appearing an innocuous source of waste, items such as cable ties are easy for the industry to relate to in the drive to reduce construction plastic waste.
Katy Constance, Circular Economy Manager from Plastics NZ, was impressed,
Designing out waste by choosing reusable rather than single use options is an important step towards a Circular Economy. Naylor Love’s reusable cable tie initiative is a great example of this in action!
We are keen to see reusable cable ties adopted as standard throughout the New Zealand construction industry. Our services engineers Aurecon have approved reuseable cable ties for use on both the services installation and temporary works at Kipling Ave, an endoscopy and laparoscopy facility we’re building in Epsom. We’re working with Masterspec to ensure that specifications for cable ties include the reusable variety and we’re also working with various merchants, including Mitre 10, to ensure they’re widely available.
Reusable cable ties in use on Naylor Love sites.