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Waste Management continues to lead the way: Green Star solutions for the building and construction industry

Waste Management has become the first waste company in Aotearoa to meet the New Zealand Green Building Council's Green Star construction and demolition waste reporting criteria.

Awarded a Compliance Verification Summary, Waste Management has proven it can support the building and construction industry towards meeting Green Star standards by maximising their resource recovery and minimising waste throughout New Zealand.

General Manager of Customer, Strategy & Sustainability Ingrid Cronin Knight says currently New Zealand’s building boom contributes 40 – 50% of all waste.

“New Zealand can do much better. Our services make it possible for more than 70% of building and construction waste to be recycled. We have solutions for every kind of construction project, small or large-scale, and we can now provide the certified waste reporting to achieve Green Star requirements.”


Timber and metal are among the building materials that can be recovered and reused

The New Zealand Green Building Council runs Green Star and Homestar – two tools which rate and communicate the sustainability of New Zealand’s buildings. Covering both commercial and residential builds, these ratings systems strongly encourage the sustainable management of waste. 

"Last year we told the construction and demolition waste sector that change was coming. After consulting the industry, we added the Waste Reporting Criteria to Green Star, setting in place a third-party audit process to ensure waste contractors and processing facilities are doing what they say they are," NZGBC chief executive Andrew Eagles says.

"By successfully completing this process, Waste Management is providing greater assurance to the wider industry and is helping develop further transparency around our sector's waste."

And huge gains can be made in resource recovery within the industry because much of the demolition and construction waste that is thrown out can be diverted to other uses. For example, timber, metals, plasterboard, concrete, bricks, asphalt, clean soils, cardboard, polystyrene and green waste can all be recovered and transformed into a range of products including mulch, aggregates, fertiliser and compost.

Separating building and construction waste for better recycling is easier than many might think.


A variety of bins helps teams working onsite separate out materials easily

Waste Management delivers a variety of bins, so teams working onsite can separate out materials easily. Waste Management then efficiently maximises material recovery and supplies the reporting necessary for Green Star and Homestar accreditation.

Ingrid Cronin Knight says while the sustainable solution is more expensive than throwing everything away as general waste, it is increasingly favoured by leaders in the building and construction industry.

“We all have a responsibility to make better choices. A circular future is the only future that will ensure we make the very best use of our precious resources, minimise waste and reduce our impact on the environment.”

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Case study: Waste Management’s Auckland HQ

When Waste Management’s new Auckland HQ was built in 2019, the company used best practice methods, including waste separation onsite, to ensure 99.5% of demolition waste and 76% of construction waste was able to be recycled or reused.

It’s one of the reasons our new HQ has achieved a 5 Green Star rating (indicating New Zealand excellence) and gives our sustainability team a real-life example of how effective building & construction resource recovery solutions can be.

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