As Christchurch works through day five, post earthquake, demolition of some of our most precious heritage sites is underway. Along with these heritage sites is the purposeful demolition of buildings of less historical importance, but ones that acted as landmarks within the inner suburbs.
Broken mortar, bricks, aluminum, glass, plastic piping, drains, concrete and the silt resulting from liquefaction – the next step will be figuring where all this useless material will be disposed. Certainly in times of emergency, recycling or careful disposal of building waste becomes irrelevant, as the priority remains clearing the streets of dangerous debris for the inhabitants of the city.
Is there room for future deliberation of how we dispose / recycle demolition waste when there is an emergency situation such as the events of 4th September 2010?
There has been 17,000 claims made to EQC of house damage* and with the estimated cost climbing over $1 billion, the focus will no doubt turn to restoring or rebuilding as quickly and cheaply as possible. There will be an impact on Christchurch’s waste stream, but as with most post earthquake processes, the extent and repercussions of the damage will reveal itself in the months and years to come.