Recycling a win-win for Lyttelton

Lyttelton is making good use of earthquake rubble Lyttelton is making good use of earthquake rubble

About one million tonnes of earthquake rubble is likely to be used for reclamation in Lyttelton Port’s expansion plans.

In March, under state of emergency powers, the New Zealand port started taking bricks, masonry and concrete cleared from demolished buildings after the February earthquake, to add to the end of its damaged wharf system – where expansion was also planned. To the outsider, this was an apparently sensible action, but it brought objections from residents, who said the port was getting around the consent process.

The port had applied for consent for reclamation in Te Awaparahi Bay in 2009, as part of its expansion.

In April, the port company was ordered to stop dumping rubble, but the government has since given its approval to use the material for reclamation. The move will save an estimated $90m by allowing rubble to be taken by truck directly from the city to the port, rather than being double handled, being taken to and from a resource and recovery park.

Lyttelton is said to have lost 30% of its operational space due to earthquake damage.


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