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Flat glass recovery at Heretaunga House a first for Hawke’s Bay

Glass recovery

HB regional demolition and construction waste minimisation advisor Geoff Gibson, left and 5R managing director Chris Grant outside Heretaunga House before deconstruction began.

Deconstruction of Heretaunga House in central Hastings has begun inside the building, and in a region-first the flat glass from the process will be recycled by specialists 5R.

Hawke’s Bay regional demolition and construction waste minimisation advisor Geoff Gibson, who supports both Hastings District and Napier City Councils, is on a mission to reduce the amount of building and construction waste going to landfill.

One of the first projects he’s got his teeth into is the deconstruction of Heretaunga House, which is being taken down as it does not comply with national building standards and is deemed earthquake prone and not safe to occupy.

Throughout the process the project team is trying to recycle and re-purpose almost everything they can.

“We’re aiming to recover 99 per cent of the flat glass and 90-95 per cent of all the building materials,” Mr. Gibson said.

Hastings District Council has formed a partnership with 5R who are going to take all of the glass from the likes of the windows and doors to their recovery facility in Auckland.

Mr Gibson said the recycling of the flat glass was believed to be a first for Hawke’s Bay, and that it was great to have an alternative to sending the material to the Ōmarunui Landfill.

5R’s managing director Chris Grant said he was thrilled to be able to work in partnership with contractors McMahon Services New Zealand and Hastings District Council to introduce the region to glass recovery on such a large scale as with this project.

“This is exactly what we need to be doing every time we work in the deconstruction space – put waste minimisation front of mind. We don’t need to send this waste to landfill.

“While people might pull a window out of a home renovation and take it to a second-hand shop for re-use in another space, recycling flat glass is completely different.”

The process involves removing the individual glass panels from the building, loading them onto a transport truck and taking them to the facility in Auckland, where the glass is processed into a new reusable product.

It is estimated a minimum of 200 tonnes of glass will be removed from Heretaunga House and re-purposed into items such as glass wool insulation and new glass jars and bottles.

Other materials lined up for recycling back into the community include heat pumps, interior doors carpet tiles, kitchens and bathroom fittings.

Anyone looking for advice on waste minimisation in the construction and demolition space can contact Mr Gibson via the Napier or Hastings council websites.

6 June 2023

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