Council makes a concrete commitment to the environment

22 November 2019

Concrete from earthquake-prone social housing flats currently being demolished by Wellington City Council will be recycled, instead of going to landfill.

Councillor Laurie Foon, John McDonald (WCC Housing Development Manager), Wellington Mayor Andy Foster, Thomas Marchant (CentrePort) and Anthony Delaney (CentrePort General Manager Regeneration).

Councillor Laurie Foon, John McDonald (WCC Housing Development Manager), Wellington Mayor Andy Foster, Thomas Marchant (CentrePort) and Anthony Delaney (CentrePort General Manager Regeneration).

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The earthquake-prone flats at Nairn St have been empty since April 2017, when City Housing tenants moved to other housing in the city.

In a first for the Council, the demolished concrete will be taken to CentrePort where it will be crushed and made into gravel and used for regeneration work at the port, and by roading contractors for footpath renewal work in the city.

Trial runs have been done to ensure the concrete is suitable for recycling, and around 50 truckloads (320 cubic metres) have already been taken to CentrePort. In addition to concrete from the site, metal and window frames from the 15 former units are also being recycled.

Mayor Andy Foster says the concrete recycling initiative lines-up with the Council’s Te Atakura – First to Zero blueprint for the city to become carbon zero.

“This concrete will be diverted from landfill and will contribute to lowering of carbon emissions by reducing concrete production.

“As a Council we’re pleased to partner with CentrePort to walk the talk and factor in protection of our environment and climate change in our decision-making.”

The Council’s Waste Minimisation portfolio lead Councillor Laurie Foon says it’s exciting to see the Council taking a lead in reducing its waste footprint.

“Saving concrete from the landfill and turning it into a valuable resource is just the beginning of Wellington’s circular economy journey. Regionally we’ve committed to drop our waste output by a third before 2026, and clever ideas are the only way we are going to get there. Stepping up to partner with CentrePort is a great example of this.”

CentrePort General Manager Regeneration Anthony Delaney says their award-winning waste minimisation project has been running for over two years, recycling 35,800 cubic metres of concrete to date.

“Sustainability is a fundamental principle of CentrePort’s regeneration, and in addition to recycling our own waste, we’ve started partnering this year with external organisations to help them recycle. 

“We’re delighted that Wellington City Council is one of the founding organisations to join us on this partnership, and we welcome their commitment to environmental sustainability in this way.”

The Council will consider other opportunities to recycle suitable concrete on a case-by-case basis.