Construction and Demolition Waste

Construction and demolition (C & D) waste is made up of a wide variety of materials including concrete, plasterboard, wood, metal, brick, glass and soil.    

Construction and demolition waste is a growing problem

Construction and demolition waste accounts for approximately 32% of the overall waste generated in the Queenstown Lakes District.

That equates to an average of 242 tonnes of construction and demolition waste ending up in landfill per week*.

A large portion of this material could be diverted from landfill through the implementation of good design and onsite work practices focused on reducing, reusing and recycling.

*QLDC Solid Waste Assessment May 2020

What are we doing about it?

We have committed to the following actions as part of our Waste Minimisation and Management Plan 2018: 

  • Promote sustainable building practice that minimises waste and reduces resource use. Check out our case studies below.

  • Review and provide upgrades to the layout and operation of resource recovery and waste disposal facilities to optimise resource recovery and improve capacity.

  • Provide resource recovery (and waste disposal) facilities that optimise separation of divertible material in Wānaka and Wakatipu.

  • Support and enable the development of construction and demolition material recovery where practicable.

  • Monitor the types and quantities of construction and demolition waste disposal.

Case Studies

  • The Hawea Grove is a journey in sustainable growing, building and living. It began with the simple goal of being able to plant trees on an acre of land in Lake Hāwea, but quickly escalated into a rather unique eco building project.

    The journey is being professionally documented through a webisode series, all shot from the perspective of a consumer. The objective is to showcase the twists and turns of creating and managing a sustainable, eco-focused building project, and to promote the products and practices of the partnering suppliers.

    This project was one the recipients of the QLDC Waste Minimisation Community Fund grants for 2020. QLDC is excited to watch what the Hawea Grove will achieve on its sustainability journey and how the project can inspire our community toward a zero waste future.

    Check out the waste-related episodes below and sign up for the next webisode release here 

    Hawea Grove Webisode Series


    Episode 06 // Waste Management

    Episode 13 // Waste Diversion

    Episode 16 // Joinery

  • The deconstruction phase of the Lakeview Development presented an opportunity for QLDC to demonstrate leadership in minimising waste during a major project.

    By incorporating clear waste minimisation objectives into the tender process and selecting an experienced contractor able to deliver on these objectives, the project has resulted in over 86% of material diverted from landfill through reuse and recycling initiatives - an outstanding result and a story worth telling. 

    Check out how the deconstruction progressed below.

  • The Better Building Working Group was established after the 2018 Wao Summit and is made up of architects, builders, tradies, developers, suppliers, council staff, and mental health experts.

    The groups vision is to create an inclusive Queenstown-Lakes District building sector thriving to take on principles of circular economy to build naturally healthy, long-lasting, and affordable structures.

    In 2022, the group secured a grant from the Waste Minimisation Community Fund for their "This Is How We Build" campaign. The campaign aims to get the Queenstown Lakes District construction industry on board with waste reduction practices to ensure that sending materials to landfill is seen as a last resort.  

    Check out the awareness video created as part of the campaign below.


Resource Efficiency in Building and Related Industries (REBRI) guidelines

The Resource Efficiency in Building and Related Industries (REBRI) guidelines is a very useful resource for  anyone involved in the construction and deconstruction industry.

Whether you're an architect, engineer, builder or just a keen recycler, these guidelines will offer practical tips on a range of different topics including development, design, construction and deconstruction.   

They also include information on the recovery of specific materials such as concrete, timber, plasterboard and steel.

The guidelines and other helpful tips can be found on the REBRI website.