How demolition timber gets a second chance - Pink Bins

For a long time, we’ve been concerned about the volume of waste that ends up in landfill. That’s why in 2005 we set up a recycling plant in Manukau, Auckland. In this post, we explain how demolition timber can be recycled into brand-new products. 

Why recycle?

At Pink Bins, we recycle demolition timber — as well as Gib board, cardboard, batteries and green waste. 

But, what are the benefits? Well, firstly, by recycling timber to make new products, fewer trees (that take a long time to reach maturity) need to be cut down. Consequently, less waste ends up in landfills, which means reduced water and air pollution.  Recycling also requires less energy and the burning of fewer fossil fuels. 

Patching up Tonga

In Tonga, there are seasonal cyclones that flatten buildings and leave people homeless. And, unfortunately, due to 100 – 200 per cent mark-ups, building materials in this Pacific nation are extremely high. 

Recently, Saia Latu returned to Tonga after living in New Zealand for 20 years. Having worked in the New Zealand construction industry, he knew that companies demolish and send to landfill hundreds of tonnes of recyclable material because it’s cheaper to bulldoze buildings than hire people to deconstruct them. 

This is a huge waste. So, wanting to help his people rebuild their villages, Latu established Trow Group, with ex-Kiwi league player Joe Vagana, to salvage timber, lighting  and furniture that was destined for landfill. 

‘Chipping’ wood

In 1994, Ted Edwards established Reharvest Timber Products Ltd to create environmentally sustainable products by utilising wood waste. Today, this Auckland company supplies woodchips for playgrounds, equestrian arenas and public spaces throughout New Zealand.

Pink Bins delivers timber to Reharvest in 35-meter hook bins. But, before leaving our Manukau recycling plant, we check that the timber is free of bolts over 6 mm (nails are okay) and non-H4 treated. We don’t supply materials such as MDF, plywood or Melteca. 

New life on the street

In 2016, a couple of dreamers (Ryan and Jared) set up Goose Boards to create Cruiser Boards from recycled timber. Caring for the environment is a huge priority for Ryan and Jared, and they hope that when people see how timber destined for the scrap heap can become a premium product, they will see other recycling possibilities.   

Due to the unique qualities of timber, no two Cruiser Boards are the same. We love the work that these guys so, and so we gave away a Cruiser Board in our November promotion. 

Keep on recycling

It’s great to see more and more businesses turning waste into valuable products. Let’s hope the trend continues.

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