Recycling of millions of tonnes of quake debris begins

11:30 am on 14 April 2011

A group of companies in Christchurch has begun the largest recycling project ever attempted in New Zealand.

The group, led by the council-controlled EcoCentral, are trying to stop millions of tonnes of rubble, bricks and timber from buildings destroyed in February's earthquake going to landfill.

Demolition crews have begun stockpiling about two million tonnes of concrete, timber, aluminium, glass and bricks and silt from liquefaction at the reopened former landfill at Burwood in the north of Christchurch.

EcoCentral general manager Robert Gerrie says the facility is receiving 2000 truckloads a day, and this will soon increase to about 10,000 so the city can be cleared before winter.

A division of Fletcher Building has also begun trialling a road filler made from silt mixed with cement, to try to find a use for the 300,000 tonnes of the grey sand that has been collected.