Waste concrete is pricey to dispose of and often ends up dumped on the side of the road or in a pile at the bottom of the garden.
But New Plymouth’s Symon Klemra has a solution, and it’s both environmentally friendly and free.
Mr Klemra set up Taranaki Concrete Recyclers in November last year, a business which deals in the recycling of concrete and brick into aggregate for the building industry.
He has contracts with demolition companies to take waste concrete from wrecked buildings, but also invites the public to dump their waste concrete or brick with him for free.
“It’s been pretty well-received,” he said.
Mr Klemra is a Taranaki boy, but spent 13 years in Australia in the demolition industry.
Last year he returned to the region and started up the business as “something to do in the weekends”, and it had gone from strength to strength.
He recently got the contract to take the concrete from the Govett Brewster demolition, and was in the process of crushing a large pile of it last week.
“It’s saved at least a couple of tonnes of concrete from going into the tip,” he said.
Since starting up, Mr Klemra reckoned he had saved about 2000 tonnes of concrete from ending up in the landfill.
“I hate to see good, useable product end up in the rubbish.”
He said he stopped up Mt Messenger one time and saw a huge pile of concrete someone had dumped in the bush.
“I thought, if someone will drive all that way to get rid of some concrete, surely they’ll bring it to my yard and I can get rid of it.”
He could understand why people were lazy about disposing of waste concrete because it cost an arm and a leg to do so.
“Everyone knows someone who has a pile of concrete down the back of the garden.
“Now they can come here and dump it for free.”
He welcomed any clean concrete, including bricks, pavers and retaining walls.
After the concrete or brick was dumped at his site, Mr Klemra crushed it down to aggregate which building companies bought. The aggregate he produced, at 65ml and 20ml, was $4 a cube cheaper than you could buy at a quarry, Mr Klemra said.
“It’s an equivalent if not cheaper product than anything that’s quarried and we don’t need to dig giant holes all over the countryside.”
With the amount of building activity going on there was no shortage of concrete to crush, he said.
“I’ve really been pleasantly surprised by how alive little old New Plymouth is at the moment.”
The feedback he had received had all been positive.
“Once they can actually see the product and see how it works, people are blown away.”
Mr Klemra is working out of a paddock at the end of Rifle Range Rd and doing all the crushing himself, but said he would look to bring someone else on as the business continued to grow.