Every year Kiwis send around 2.5 million tonnes of waste to landfill. About 1.5 million tonnes of this is consigned to landfill in Auckland alone. As the city continues to expand, this amount will only get bigger. Timber makes up about 14% of total waste, with metals making up a further 6%.
As you can imagine, our branches handle a fair bit of timber, composites and metal, so we’ve teamed up with a social enterprise called Rekindle to do our bit to reduce our impact on the environment. Rekindle is dedicated to creating all sorts of saleable products from things that people would usually throw away.
Established in Auckland in 2011, Rekindle runs several projects focused on resourcefulness (which they define as the opposite of wastefulness). Their goal is to reduce the amount of reusable waste that goes to landfill, by using design and craft skills to transform and repurpose it. Their big goal is to change people’s perception of ‘waste’.
How it works
At Cutshop, we produce about 5m³ of waste every week — that fills between 20 to 25 two-litre skips a month. The day before the bins are collected, the Rekindle people drop by to see what they can salvage.
A focus on composites
As you probably know, we can cut just about anything and many of our materials are composites. Composite products are constructed from two or more materials to make them stronger, MDF and plywood are common examples.
The problem with composite materials is that they have a low perceived value and a huge amount ends up in landfill. This is the reason that Rekindle has chosen to focus their efforts on recycling composites.
Good for the environment, good for business
From an environmental point of view, recycling is great because it means that fewer raw materials are used to make new products. In the case of MDF and plywood, that means fewer trees get the chop.
There is another benefit though; recycling is also makes great financial sense. Waste is charged by weight, so disposing of it is a major expense for most businesses. The less waste that companies send to landfill, the more they save. So, recycling is a real win/win.
If you fancy having a look at some of the projects and products made by Rekindle, take a look at their website (rekindle.org.nz).