Canterbury's earthquakes has generated eight million tonnes of waste, new research shows.
The disaster waste management research is one of 200 quake-related projects undertaken by the University of Canterbury at a cost of about $6 million.
Researcher Charlotte Brown says damaged roading and infrastructure makes up about $4 million tonnes of the waste and some may be used in the rebuild.
Dr Brown says while there has been some illegal dumping, most companies are finding innovative ways to reuse damaged materials.
The research will be used to create guidelines for territorial authorities in future disasters, she says.